10th Tiberius Auction
Vienna 1857 – 1941 Vienna
From the Saga of the Nibelungs
Oil on canvas, 159 x 205 cm
Exhibition label of the Munich Secession & label of the Thannhauser Gallery on the reverse.
Provenance: Moderne Galerie Heinrich Thannhauser Munich, private collection Vienna
One of the most important painters of Art Nouveau in Vienna around 1900 was Friedrich König. As a co-founder of the world-famous Vienna Secession, he joined the artistic elite in Vienna at the turn of the century. Together with his close companions Josef Engelhart, Rudolf Bacher, and Maximilian Lenz, F. König represented a separate style group within the Secessionists that organised very successful exhibitions. In his works the painter shows figural motifs and landscapes. These extraordinarily light-filled impressions show his great skill. In his entire oeuvre, the painter impressively expresses the artistic forms of Viennese Art Nouveau and Symbolism.
Friedrich König began his studies at the Vienna School of Applied Arts and then continued them at the Vienna Academy from 1878 to 1883. His teachers were Christian Griepenkerl, August Eisenmenger, and Carl von Blaas. After his years as an apprentice in Vienna, he moved to Munich and enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts there. After graduation he travelled extensively through France, Germany, Spain, and Italy for study purposes. In addition to his poster designs and picture designs for the magazine “Ver Sacrum”, he also created the interior decoration for the first exhibition of the Vienna Secession in 1897. The architect Josef Maria Olbrich commissioned him in 1898/99 to design the murals for a room in a house in Hinterbrühl near Vienna. Shortly afterwards, in 1900, Friedrich König painted two works for Karl Wittgenstein. These served as wall coverings for the music room in Wittgenstein’s city palace in what was then Alleestraße, now Argentinierstraße, in Vienna.
As a member since its foundation, Friedrich König was represented at most exhibitions of the Vienna Secession until 1939. In 1901 and 1904 he also participated with paintings in the “Great Art Exhibition in Dresden”, in 1901 and 1909 respectively in the “Glass Palace” and the “Secession” in Munich. In 1911 König was invited to Rome where he took part in the International Art Exhibition.
In 1929, the Vienna Secession honoured Friedrich König as its oldest member on his 70th birthday with a retrospective of his complete works. His long-time painter companion Josef Engelhart wrote the following lines about him: “The viewer who steps in front of Friedrich König’s works immediately feels that a deeply inward artist is speaking to him here, a painter who traces nature with almost womanly tenderness, a poet for whom pencil and brush are the means to describe his dreams”.
Works by his hand can be found:
Vienna Museum, Vienna
Leopold Museum, Vienna
and numerous public and private collections in Austria and abroad.
The painting can be viewed by appointment at Penzingerstraße 23, 1140 Vienna.
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