Joseph Rebell (1787 Vienna - 1828 Dresden) studied from 1799 to 1809 at the Vienna Academy and was a student of the landscape painter Michael Wutky (1739-1823). After completing his training, he traveled to Italy in 1810. He initially stayed in Milan for two years to produce drawings of the locations on the northern Italian lakes for the art and views publisher Dominique Artaria. These should then be edited as engravings or etchings. Following the recommendation of the Italian Vice King Eugène de Beauharnais, he traveled in 1812 via Florence and Rome to Naples to the court of Joachim Murats and his wife Karoline, Napoleon's sister. Here he worked for the court for a few years until he returned to Vienna in 1824 and was appointed by Franz I to the gallery director of Belvedere and professor of landscape class at the Vienna Academy. Rebell died relatively young in 1838 of a disease while traveling in Dresden.
The sheet Lago di Como falls in the time of his stay in Milan with trips to the northern Italian regions. Through several back figures in the foreground, the viewer is invited to take a look at the landscape: the view of Lake Como and the remains of Forte di Fuentes near Colico at the northern end of Lake Como fall from a slight hill. The western beginnings of the Bernina Alps tower up gently behind it, while a tree rounds off the picture on the right. Rebell's efforts to reproduce immediate impressions of reality are expressed in the detailed elaboration of the scenery. The watercolor also makes it light and lets you feel the airy atmosphere.
Rebel was one of the most sought after landscape painters of his time, so that in addition to the Italian and Austrian rulers, the Bavarian king and English nobles also joined his collectors. It is therefore not surprising that his works are represented in many international museums and collections.