Hans Makart Austria
5-28-1840 Salzburg, AUT – 10-3-1884 Vienna, AUTBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Hans Makart received his training in painting at the Vienna Academy between 1850 and 1851 from Johann Fischbach. Makart, who was a poor draftsman, but who had a passionate and sensual love of color, was impatient to escape the routine of art school drawing. For his fortune, he was found by his instructors to be devoid of all talent and forced to leave the Vienna. He went to Munich, and after two years of independent study attracted the attention of Karl Theodor von Piloty, under whose guidance, between 1861 and 1865 he developed his painting style.
During these years, Hans Makart also traveled to London, Paris and Rome to further his studies. The first picture he painted under Piloty, Lavoisier in Prison, though it was considered timid and conventional, attracted attention by its sense of color. In his next work, The Knight and the Water Nymphs, he first displayed the decorative qualities to which he afterward sacrificed everything else in his work. His fame became established in the next year, with two works, Modern Amoretti and The Plague in Florence.
The prince Von Hohenlohe provided Hans Makart with an old foundry to use as a studio. He gradually turned it into an impressive place full of sculptures, flowers, musical instruments. Eventually his studio looked like a salon and became a social meeting point in Vienna.
The opulent, semi-public spaces of the Makart atelier were the scene of a recurring rendezvous between the artist and his public. Makart became the mediator between different levels of society.
Hans Makart became the acknowledged leader of the artistic life of the Vienna, which in the 1870s passed through a period of feverish activity. He not only practiced painting, but was also an interior designer, costume designer, furniture designer, and decorator, and his work decorated most of the public spaces of the era.
In 1879, Hans Makart had designed a pageant organized to celebrate the Silver Wedding Anniversary of the Imperial couple. He designed, single-handed, the costumes, scenic setting, and triumphal cars. This became known as the "Makart-parade", and had given the people of Vienna the chance to dress up in historical costumes and be transported back into the past for a few hours. His festivals became an institution in Vienna which lasted up until the 1960s.
The "Makartstil", which determined the culture of an entire era in Vienna, was an aestheticism the likes of which hadn't been seen before him and has not been replicated to this day.
Aside from his clear influence on the academic art and high culture of Vienna at the time, Hans Makart also influenced a range of painters and decorators who followed him, including many who rebelled against his style—the most notable being Gustav Klimt, who is said to have idolized him.
Art Movement: Academic
Influences: Karl Theodor von Piloty, Johann Fischbach
Traveled: Italy, Germany, France, England
Influenced: Gustav Klimt