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Austria 19th century

Likeness of his First Wife Amalie

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Oil/mahogany, 76 x 58.2 cm

click here Inv. Nr.001



click 1840 Salzburg - 1884 Vienna

see ´╗┐ MAKART Hans
Born in the former residence of the prince-archbishops of Salzburg as the son of an attendant at the Mirabell Palace, Makart received his initial instruction in painting in 1850/51 from Johann Fischbach (1797- 1871). After studies under Karl Theodor von Piloty (1826- 1886) in Munich from 1861 to 1865, and time spent in England, France and Italy, he was called to Vienna in 1869, where a home and a studio were made available to him at government expense. There he shaped <//i>Viennese aestheticism like no artist before or after him. The "Makart style" determined the culture of an entire era. Makart attracted the public through the sensuous appeal of his large-scale, theatrical productions of historicising motifs painted in brilliant colours. He was deeply interested in the interaction of all the visual arts and thus in the implementation of the idea of the "total work of art'" which dominated discussions on the arts in the 19th century. This was the ideal which he realised in magnificent festivities which he organised and centred around himself. The culmination of these was the pageant of the City of Vienna organised to celebrate the silver wedding of the imperial couple in 1879. With his sketchy, fleeting mode of painting, Makart, whose artistic successor is said to be Gustav Klimt (1862- 1918), exerted a seminal influence on the development of painting after 1900.  

Likeness of his First Wife Amalie
The daughter of a Munich butcher, she had risen to the top echelons of society, and her challenging look as well as her posture signal self-confidence. This portrait of his first wife Amalie Roithmayr, which was painted in about 1871, two years before her death, belongs to a small group of paintings which the artist did not intend for public viewing. Its lively expressiveness evokes the admiration of the beholder. Its special appeal derives from the combination of two different styles of painting and from its "nonfinito" character, as well as from the abruptly changing pictorial effects. The flesh tints painted wet-into-wet contrast effectively with the sketchy impasto brushwork on the dress and collar, and the fleeting suggestion of the sitter's hands. This portrait remained in the artist's studio to his death. Amalie was frequently used as a model for Makart's formal paintings. In the monumental work "Venice Pays Homage to Caterina Cornaro", which was formally presented at the opening of the Vienna World Exhibition on 1 May 1879, Caterina Cornaro bears the features of the artist's wife. A portrait dating from 1867 shows Amalie Makart at the piano, Ober÷sterreichisches Landesmuseum Linz, Inv. no. G 2274.


Gabriele Groschner, Thomas Habersatter, Erika Mayr-Oehring (Ed.): Masterworks. Residenzgalerie Salzburg. Salzburg 2002, p. 134



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