1793 Vienna − 1865 Hinterbrühl near Vienna
Waldmüller is the most important Austrian artist of the nineteenth century. His name is always associated with the so-called Biedermeier era and yet his art reached beyond this period, both in date and in the realism of its images and the power of their pictorial messages. Indeed, the works that account for Waldmüller’s international acclaim – such as Corpus Christi Morning (1857) or Early Spring in the Vienna Woods (1861) – were painted long after the Biedermeier era.
Waldmüller was the leading master in all the fundamental subjects of the day. Significant portraits, landscapes, genre scenes, and still lifes were all captured by his brush. Whether in the conquest of landscape and the convincing rendering of proximity and distance, the accurate characterization of people’s faces, the detailed, exquisitely meticulous textures, or the witty description of rural life, his works were always in the vanguard. Waldmüller describes, explains, moralizes, and is critical of society all at once. In his late career, the master even surpassed himself by taking genre painting into a new realm, combining it with a depiction of nature to create a harmonious whole.
The Belvedere houses the world’s largest collection of Waldmüller’s paintings. Furthermore, the museum owns the Waldmüller Archive and through continuous research is amassing knowledge about the painter’s work.
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