The Viennese watercolor had its zenith in the 19th century. An exhibition at the Albertina traces its history.

The term "watercolor" has been in use since the middle of the 18th century. It implies that the color is dissolved in water. In Vienna, painting with watercolors became especially popular in the 19th century. The works of this time also developed a particular radiance of color and atmospheric impact. The watercolor reached its zenith in the Biedermeier period, the time between the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15 and the bourgeois revolution of 1848. Jakob Alt, Matthäus Loder, Thomas Ender, Peter Fendi and Moritz Michael Daffinger numbered amongst the most important artists of this time. At the head of the pack, however, was Rudolf von Alt, who created countless works in his more than 70 years of creative activity. His clients included the imperial household and court nobility. Later on it was the artists Anton Romako and August von Pettenkofen who announced the arrival of Vienna Modernism with their watercolor art.

The rich wealth of motifs found in Viennese watercolor painting produced virtuoso city views and landscapes, lovingly detailed portraits, genre paintings and flower pieces. Around 200 works out of the total of about 2,500 watercolors in the collection of the Albertina can be seen in the exhibition "The Vienna Watercolor". In terms of content, the show ranges from the Biedermeier period to art in the years around 1900.

The Art of the Viennese Watercolor. February 16 to May 13, 2018


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