FERDINAND GEORG WALDMÜLLER: THE EXPONENT OF BIEDERMEIER REALISM
Meticulously describing the reality of the unperturbed ‘Biedermeier’ bliss, the brilliant and explanatory paintings of Austrian Romantic painter, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, are famous for their sharp light and astonishing vivacity. Celebrated as one of the most important Austrian artist of the 19th century, Waldmüller was born on January 15, 1793, in Vienna, Austria.
Frequently misunderstood as a painter of Biedermeier idylls, Waldmüller had attended the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1807. In 1811, Waldmüller worked as a art teacher in Croatia. After few years he returned to the Academy of Vienna and modelled his painting technique on that of the old masters, yet in his later years he sharply criticized the Academy's teaching methods. A member of the Academy himself, Waldmüller postulated that the education it offered was inefficient and that two year master courses would suffice to recognize talent and train young artists. Because of his revolutionary views, Waldmüller was forced to retire from the Academy in 1857. Though he had been accepted back into the art circles of Vienna and was knighted in 1865.
From 1825, Waldmüller travelled to Italy regularly and found inspiration in Italian landscapes. After 1848, Waldmüller’s career went far beyond the Biedermeier period and he became realistic over time and started painting landscapes. With time, Waldmüller learned to be forgiving in his depictions of reality, to execute every single part of painting with precision, to transmit a sharpness and poignancy, and to exercise patience.
Regarded as one of the earliest painters of open-air sunlight, Waldmüller produced outstanding works in various artistic disciplines as portraiture, landscapes, still life and genre paintings. Throughout his life he was always in search of accomplishment, striding new paths that led the way into the future. In the 1903 catalogue of the Modern Gallery, Waldmüller was described as ‘the greatest painter who had ever emerged from old Viennese genre.’
Despite growing acceptance of his paintings in Austria and abroad Waldmūller's financial conditions were rather bad. He died on August 23, 1865, in Hinterbrühl, Austria.