Rudolf Bibarz, Apple Tree, c. 1875.
In Biedermeier painting, the great outdoors became the lightflooded stage for renderings of rural life. The pictorial anecdotes of Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller and Friedrich Gauermann captivate with their rich details and hyperrealistic chiaroscuro. After 1860, the generation of artists surrounding Emil Jakob Schindler, who was dubbed the “Austrian Corot”, embarked on a new path. Using understated colors, Eugen Jettel, Robert Russ, Tina Blau, Carl Schuch and other exponents of Austrian Atmospheric Realism rendered unspectacular landscapes imbued with lyrical atmospheres. Their extensive painterly excursions took them to the idyllic environs of the Danube metropolis, as well as to western France, Italy, Dalmatia, the Netherlands and Hungary. Inspired by the pleinair painting of the Barbizon School and 17th century Dutch landscape painting, they arrived at individual, at times highly idiosyncratic solutions. Their oeuvre features in the Leopold Collection with numerous eminent examples.
(Photo © Leopold Museum, Vienna.)