born Nürnberg, 01. May 1636
died Nürnberg, 06. Dec 1701
He went through a first training in Nuremberg with Leonhard Heberlein, after that, from 1653 to 1658, he was a student of the flower painter Jacob Marrell in Frankfurt on the Main. After that he stayed in Italy for several years.
In 1665 he married Maria Sibylla Merian in Frankfurt. In 1668 the young family moved to Nuremberg. Graff created large-format copperplate engravings (artists´ performance in the Fechthaus, interior of Barfüßerkirche while it was being reconstructed, square in front of St. Jacob´s church at Weißer Turm). Besides he was involved with the work on his wife´s books (flower- and caterpillar books). In 1682 the family moved to Frankfurt in order to support his widowed mother-in-law Merian-Marrell, and Graff commuted for years between Frankfurt and Nuremberg, he created large-format drawings (Schoppershof, Gründlach) on commission.
In 1685/6 Maria Sibylla with her mother and daughters moved to a Dutch pietistic community. She finally separated from Graff, who returned to Nuremberg.
In the last fifteen years of his life Graff drew Nuremberg streets and places as well as church interiors, which the Augsburg copperplate engraver Johann Ulrich Kraus transferred into large-format copperplate engravings. Cooperating with Kraus Graff also successfully sold a series of small-format views of the Nuremberg surroundings. All of his works stand out by their topographical exactness. Both of his daughters, Johanna Helena (1668 – 1728) and Dorothea Maria (1678 – 1743), were also talented artists, but they worked mainly for their mother, that is why hardly any works by them are known under their own names.
Period: 17th c.