We have developed considerable information about Austrian artists. When we first began HBC we knew very little about Austrian artists. We have since compiled a sizeable list. HBC is somewhat unsure how to treat Austrian artists. Ausdtria itself is a very small country so its artistic accomplishments would theoretically be small compared to much lrger countries like France. Austra and its capitalmof Vienna wee, iwever, the center of a huge eastern nd central European empire. Austians until the 19th century were generally considered Germans. With the German artists, nationality can be complicated. There were a large number of German states with the Holy Roman Empire and later the German Confederation. For several centuries the Hapsburg ruler of Austria was always elected emperorof the German Holy Roman Empire. Austria after the Ausrtro-Prussian War (1866) was exccuded by Bismarck from Geramny, but where many which historically has been an essential part of Germany. We will classify non-Austrian painters in the Austro-Hungarian Empire under theiur various nationalities. We note Austrians painting in many different styles. Many of the Austrians we found painted in the clasical realist style.
Biedermeier is a period of Austrian-German art history from the end of the Napoleonic Era (1815) to the mid-century 1848 Revolutions. Some of the best known Biedermeier artists are Jacob von Alt and Carl Spitzweg. The Biedermeier style is characterized by by simplicity and elegance. It is most strongly associated with furniture making and art. Others have extenbded it to music as well, such as the elegant work of Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert. Art historianns believe that the Biedermeier style had a major influence on the Jugendstil / Art Nouveau, the Bauhaus, and 20th century art. I had thought there was an artist and cabinent maker named Biedermeier. A art historian, however, writes, "There was no Mr. Biedermeier who helped create or produce the new style. In fact the term "Biedermeier" was not even used when the designs first began It didn't appear until after the Vormarz period, about 1850. It really began as a disparaging label by German intellectuals who looked upon the Vormarz period as one of little emotion, as a passive period. In 1853, a doctor and a district judge began writing satire in the form of verses under the pen name, Gottlieb Biedermeier. "Gottlieb" means God-loving and Maier" is a very common German surname. The satire was about upright citizens who led simple but unquestioning lives. Later, the early 19th century became known as the era of the Biedermeier - the simple bourgeoisie (middle class). The intent was to make light of the reoccupation with respectability and material values for which the middle class had become known." [Howell] We have archieved some unknown artists who have been described as painting in the Biedermeier style.
Tony Binder was born in Vienna in 1868. After his studies he travelled quite extensively through countries such as Tunesia, Marocco, and Egypt. and was a well know Artist in his days, specializing in marine paintings and later in life also Watercolors and paintings with an Arabic influence. He died in Munich in 1944.We note one 1912 portraitof a boy in a sailor suit. Unfortunatekly we know nothing about the boy. He is presumably Austrian.
Here we have a portrait of an Austrian youth in folk clothing. The portrait is undated, but we would guess was taken in the late 19th century. Carl von Blass somehow related to Eugene von Blaas and Julius. Influential Austrian genre painters.
The portrait of a boy here here because of the manner and style is we attributed to Austrian-Italian genre and portrait painter Eugen von Blaas (1843-1931). Theartist was a son of famous historical and genre painter Carl von Blaas and at first studied under his tutelage, later he continued his education in the Academies of Venice and Rome. Main topics of Blaas' creative work were portraits and genre scenes with fishemen of Venice, Chioggia and Murano. Eugen von Blaas is listed in Prof. H. Fuchs' dictionary Austrian Painters of the 19th Century (Vienna, 1972).
We know very little about Austrian art at this time. The only Austrian artist in our database is Josef Danhauser (1805-45), but we know realtively about him. He painted in the clasical realist style.
Gabriel Decker was a Hungarian-born Austrian artist. He was born in Budapest (1821). Hungary at the time was ruled by the Hapsburg Austrian monarchy. There was an extensive mixing of people within the Austrian-ruled lands. Many Austrians lived in Budapest. We hve been unable to find bibliographic informatioin about Decker and his career. As best wee can tell he was a commercial portrait painter. The works we have found are all formal portraits, most of individuals. A few include children. As his work is very realistic the portraits provide a good record of clothing worn by well to do childrten in vienna and other cities in Austrian ruled areas. We note a charming portrait of the Redtenbacher children in a park. They are wearing tunics and dresses. We are not sure about the date, prthps the 1840s. These images are very valuable because he painted during an era that photography was just developing as an industry and relstively few photographic images exist. Decker died at a very young age in Vienna (1855).
Johan Nepomuk Ender was born in Vienna during tumultuous times (1793). This was the year that King Louis XVI was executed and the regign of terror began. He grew up during the Napoleonic Wars. He he studied at the Vienna Academy. And soon was awarded four important prizes. He soon achieved a popular following as a portrait painter in fashionble Vienna. A formtive adveventure was a trip with Count Szecheni of Hungary on a tour of Turkey and Greece (1818-19). He then traveled to Italy to view the Renaisance masyters (1820). He produced works from Biblical and historical subjects. Finally he stayed in Paris for a year. He returned to Vienna (1827). He then persued a career in Vienna specialing in portait miniature and historical paintings. He was appointed as a professor at the Academy (1829-50). We find his work very valuable because he produced many portraits of famnilie and children. This provides us quite a number of images of children's clothings in the early-19th century before we have photographic evidence.
Emanuel Salomon Friedberg-Mírohorský as an imprtant officer in Austro-Hungarian Army. The family was of common origins, but was enobled. He was of Czech originsc and retired to Bohemia after his military servuce. His Czech national sentiment is debated, but the use of Mírohorský, Czech for Friedberg or 'peaceful mountain', suggest it was present. It reported, but unsubstantiated that he quarled with Emperor Franz Josef at his retirement dinner. One of his spare time pursuits was art for which he had some skill. He was not a master artist, but his work is of some interest. We note a depiction of a military parade in Prague, about 1900. Friedberg was an interestuing person. He was multi-lengual and an author and trabnslator. He was a strong believer in a healthy lifestyle. He be believed in abstenence, and refrasined from smoking and drinking.
A. Jirasek was an Austrian painter best known for landsacpes and genre paitings. He was a student of Anton Schrödl. We know little more about him. We note one portrait he painted of a boys with bangs and a ruffled collar. The portrait is undated, but looks to have been painted about the turn of the 20th century.
Angelica Katharina Kauffman/Maria Anna Angelika Kauffman is often decribed as a Swiss-Austrian artist. She was born in Switzerland, but raised in Austria. Her career, however, was more associated with Italy and England. Her father was Autrian and of modest means, a kind of itinerant painter. He recognized her artistic talents. He taught her how to paint and nurthured her talentt. She showed talent as a musicians, but her real genius was painting. She was doing portraits of local notables by age 12 years. She developed as a neoclassical painter. She did many portraits of well to do European, including many aristocratic or other wealthy individuls English and Russian individuals. She lived for many years in England. While she painted potrtraits, she had a great interest in historical painging. By that she seems to have meant classical alegory. She began her historical psinting in England, but hen moved tio the Continent when they were more appreciated. She alsonliked to paint generic children and cherubs. We are more intereted in her portraits because they are very accurate renderings of period fashions. One interesting oportrait is the Tolstoy family.
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most highly regarded of Austria's modern artits. He cam from an artistic family. His father was a gold engraver, leaving Gustaf with fascination for gold. He was the vest knoiwn figure in the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt produced paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. His primary focus was the female body through all his media and stylistic phases. Among his paintings are boh allegories and portraits--sometimes in the samne work. He painted buildings and landscapes, but is best known for his n symbolist portraits. A strong Japanese influence can be see in his major works. As a young artist, he was a conventional and successful painter of architectural decorations. As he moved toward portaiture and expressed a more personal style, his work began to generate controvery which is why so many were held in private hands. Klimt completed sucessfuly for the prestigious
commission to paint the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna. The result was criticized as pornographic. (They would eventully be destoyed by the NAZIs.) As a result of the criticism, Klimt declined any further public commissions. Even so, he achieved even more aclaim with his Golden Phase (using gold leaf) which were purchased by individual collectors. As Klimt focus on the female body, his work is mot of great interest to HBC, but there is one magnificent work on motherhood. There is also a connection with World war II and the Hoolcaust. Because of the controversy with his work, Austrian museums declined to purchase his paintings. His ilimitimate son Gustav Ucicky made anti-Semitic films for the NAZIs. The Austrian National Gallery acquited five of Klint's paintings as a result of the NAZI theft of art owned by Jewish families. This included the portrait of a Jewish society woman (Adele Bloch-Baue), now known as the woman in gold. The Museum had no second thoughts about how the paintings were acquired, but were eventually forced to return the paintings to the heir of the victimized family. This whole incident wa made into a Hollywood movie -- of course 'Woman in Gold'.
Johann Peter Krafft was born in Hanau, Hesse (1780). Most of his life and career, however, is associated with Austria. He exhibited artistic talent from an early age. He began his art studies at the Hanau Akademie (1790). He was only 10 years old. He moved to Vienna as a young man and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts (1799). He studied there for 3 years under the sopervision of Heinrich Füger. He then in the middle of the Napoleonic wars studied in Paris (1802-08). He studied and worked with Jacques-Louis David and François Gérard. He then spent some time in Rome studying the great masters. Returning to Vienna, his talent was apparent and he attracted importnt commissions. He painted numerous portraits. He also demonstrated a talebt for military paintings, both comntemporary Napoleonic War scenes anbd earlier historical eras. His depictions were chosen to burnish the image of the Habsburg monarchy. A good example is 'A soldier's farewell' (1813). After the Napoleonic Wars, he became director of the Imperial and Royal Picture Gallery in Belvedere Palace (1828). He died at the age of 76 in Vienna (1856).
We know nothing about this artist other than his name and dates. We think he may be Austrian, but am not yet sure about this. We have been unable to find information about him. One iteresting aspect of this portrait is that it was made into a post card, one of a seies of art cards. It was mailed during World War I. The message was even passed by the Bulgarian censor.
This Sweedish-born painter lived ans worked in Vienna, Austria. He studied under his father, the painter Martin van Meytens the Elder. He traveled throughout Europe stydying art. He lived and worked for a long time in Rome and Turin. At first he spealized in little enamel miniature portraits. He changed to oil painting only around 1730, having settled in Vienna. Here he became very popular as a portrait painter. He became a court painter in 1732 and in 1759 became the director of the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts. He did many masterfull portaraits of Emperess Maria Theresa, including one particularly nice work of her family.
Czech artist Leopold Pollak was born in Lodenitz (1806). This is a town in what is now the Czech Republic. At the time it was in Bohemia, part of the Austrian Empire which was under fire from Napoleon's French Empire. Leopold's father was a prosperous Jewish merchant. His talent for drawing was noted as a child. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1819). He studied under the Director of the Academy Joseph Bergler for 5 years. He wnt on to study in Vienna under Johann Peter Krafft. His parents helped him move to Rome so he could finish his artististic education (1831). He studied under an established German arist, Leopold Schutz. He quickly joined the circle of German-speaking artists in Rome (1832). This was a natural development as Bohemia at the time was part of the German cultural sphere. It is difficult to define his nationality. He was born in Austrian Bohemia as part of a Jewish family raised in a German cultural meliu, and painted primarily in Italy (the Roman Papal States). Pollak was a founding member of the Deutscher Kunstler Verein (Federation of German artists). Much of his work was thus done in Italy. He was particularly known for charming genre images.
Johann Baptist Reiter was born in Liz (1813). He was Austrian portrait and genre artist active during the Biedermeier period.He came from a working-class family. His father was a master carpenter. Johann spent 3 years as an apprentice at his father's shop. He painted furniture, signs, and crosses. The crosses were popular to hang in Cathokic Austrian homes. The lithographer and art dealer, Josef Hafner noted his work and encouraged him. Johann enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. His teachers were Leopold Kupelwieser and Thomas Ender, among others. After finishing his early studies, he first worked as a porcelain painter. Vienna was known for fine porcelin, often with beautiful painting. Unlike Germany to the north, Austria developed little heavy industry. Kupelweiser apparently heliped him earn a scholarship given by the Upper Austrian Landstand. This allowed him to continue his studies (1834-37). He began exhibited and won the Lampi-Preis for model drawing (1836). After finishing his studies he married (1839). At first Ritter dis genre and historical works, but he found the market was better for portraits. He was huge success. A good example is a portrait of the Schegar family (1842). He was soon living in a substantial Viennese house and moved around the city in a four-horse carriage and a rather ostentateous Moorish servant. Given his liberal outlook he sided with the revolutionaries during the 1848 Revolutions, but not enough to get him arrested, but apparently enough to cause problems at home. His wife left him (1850). His popularity was unaffected For the next two decades. He was very prolific A 2013 retrospective included 170 works and there were many more. He was an active participant at the exhibitions of numerous Austrian art societies through 1870. He remarried (1866). His wife was extremy extravagent, outdtripping even his substantial income. He accepted more commissions than he could reasobly complete and the qiality of his work declind. He also begn turing out copies of Old Masters. His wife died (1889). He followed her (1890).
We notice a painting of an unidentified boy on a white bear skin rug. The painting is entitled "Siesta". The boys wears a smart sailor suit. the painting is not dated, but we would guess it comes from the turn-of-the 20th century. We have been unable to find much information about the artist. This is a little surprising because the painting seems like a quality piece of work. Strangely the boy's sailor scarfe looks more American and German. The postcard was distributed by an American company, W.R.B. & Co. The postcard comes from Galerie Wiener in Austria. This we are guessing he was Austrian and the name does sound German, at least the Rosenthal bit. Perhaps HBC readers will know more about her.
We notice a painting by Austrian painter Othmar Ruzicka. We have no information on either Ruzicka or thne boy he painted (figure 1). He has long hair looks to be wearing a sailor tunic. We would guess the boy was painted about 1905-10. While we can not identify the boy, the paintings are helpful because they provide color information to gove an idea what the colors may have been in the old black and white photographs.
Another important German -speaking artist is is Ferdinand Georg whoin was born in Vienna. He mostly painted portraits, landscapes, still life and genre scenes of everyday live. Some see his genre paintings are rather unrealistically happy others appreciate the nostalgic atmoshere inhis paintings. We notice one lovely image of Christmas in Austria with the children who have just woken up and still in their night gowns are checking their shoes to see what Santa brought them.
Here we have a portrait of a boy dressed in a fashionable sailor suit in 1911. We do not know who the artist was. One source thought it mifgt be Austrian. We woyld guess the boy was either Austrian or German. There were of course many similarities between Austrian and German styles so without knowing the artist it probably is not possible to tell the difference. The arrist is competent, but not a great master. The fact that the family had a painted portrait done suggests tht the family was affluent, but probanly not rich because of the quality pf the portrit. The sailor suit is stylish, perhaps done in velvet. There are some interesting features to the sailor suit. The color painting in particular is helpful and almost all of our images are black and white.
Some other famous Austrian painters are: Egon Schiele (1890-1918), Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), Oskar Kokoschka (l886-1980) and Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-?), whos real name was Fritz Stowasser (Sto means 100 in Russian). Klimt and Hundertwasser are so famous in Austria that all kind of merchandise is being sold with reproductions of their paintings on them: umbrellas, shopping bags, t-shirts, etc.
Fuchs, H. Austrian Painters of the 19th Century (Vienna, 1972).
Howell, Nancy. "The Biedermeier Era. Who Was Biedermeier?".
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