Maximilian Lenz

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A World (1899). Maximilian Lenz - A World - Google Art Project.jpg
A World (1899).

Maximilian Lenz (4 October 1860, Vienna – 19 May 1948, Vienna) was an Austrian painter, graphic artist and sculptor. Lenz was a founding member of the Vienna Secession; during his career's most important period, he was a Symbolist, but later his work became increasingly naturalistic. He worked in a variety of media, including oils, watercolours, lithography and metal reliefs.

Vienna Capital city and state in Austria

Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, and its cultural, economic, and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union. Until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, and before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. The city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Vienna Secession group of Austrian artists and architects

The Vienna Secession was an art movement formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. This movement included painters, sculptors, and architects. Its official magazine was called Ver Sacrum which featured highly decorative works representative of the period. Vienna Secession is local variation of nineteenth century movement called Art Nouveau.

Oil painting process of painting with pigments that are bound with a medium of drying oil

Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Commonly used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, and safflower oil. The choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time. Certain differences, depending on the oil, are also visible in the sheen of the paints. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired. The paints themselves also develop a particular consistency depending on the medium. The oil may be boiled with a resin, such as pine resin or frankincense, to create a varnish prized for its body and gloss.



Copper relief from the Fourteenth Exhibition of the Vienna Secession (1902) Maximilian-Lenz-1902-copper-relief-from-the-14th-Exhibition-of-the-Vienna-Secession-(2).jpeg
Copper relief from the Fourteenth Exhibition of the Vienna Secession (1902)

Lenz studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna, then at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna under Carl Wurzinger and Christian Griepenkerl. A member of the Vienna Künstlerhaus spent the early 1890s in South America, designing banknotes in Buenos Aires. [1]

Kunstgewerbeschule 19th and 20th century German colleges of the arts with a focus in the field of applied arts

A Kunstgewerbeschule was a type of vocational arts school that existed in German-speaking countries from the mid-19th century. The term Werkkunstschule was also used for these schools. From the 1920s and after World War II, most of them either merged into universities or closed, although some continued until the 1970s.

Christian Griepenkerl German painter and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Christian Griepenkerl was a German painter and professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Vienna Künstlerhaus art museum in Austria

The Vienna Künstlerhaus is an art exhibition building in Vienna. It is located on Karlsplatz near the Ringstraße, next to the Musikverein.

In 1897, Lenz left the Künstlerhaus to become a founding member of the Vienna Secession, [2] and his work for the group's first exhibition was hailed as "outstanding". [3] His 1899 painting, A World (Eine Welt, also translated as A Day Dream), draws on the time's prevailing currents, including dreamlike and fantastic imagery painted in intense colour. [4] It was shown at the Fourth Exhibition of the Vienna Secession in spring 1899, [5] and received critical praise for its "graceful charm and dreamy yet sparkling beauty" [6] and its mood of "pure grace and musical euphony". [7] The painting was also shown in winter 1911-12 with the Munich Secession. [8]

Munich Secession association of artists

The Munich Secession was an association of visual artists who broke away from the mainstream Munich Artists' Association in 1892, to promote and defend their art in the face of what they considered official paternalism and its conservative policies. They acted as a form of cooperative, using their influence to assure their economic survival and obtain commissions. In 1901, the association split again when some dissatisfied members formed the group Phalanx. Another split occurred in 1913, with the founding of the "New Munich Secession".

Having shown his picture On the Way to Wonderland at the Tenth Exhibition of the Vienna Secession in 1901 [9] and the Thirteenth Exhibition in spring 1902, [10] at the Secession's Fourteenth Exhibition in the summer of that year (the 'Beethoven exhibition') he showed a number of reliefs in various metals, which were noted as beautiful and inventive. [11] Some of his copper panels were also shown at the 1904 World's Fair in St Louis. [12]

Summer Lust (1906) Maximilian Lenz - Sommerlust (1906).jpeg
Summer Lust (1906)

However, a foray, together with various other Secession artists, into woodcuts for the Beethoven exhibition catalogue was panned as "rough" and more like the work of an amateur than an experienced painter, but was also found to be enthusiastic not totally without merit. [13]

Woodcut relief printing technique — print produced by xylography technique

Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Areas that the artist cuts away carry no ink, while characters or images at surface level carry the ink to produce the print. The block is cut along the wood grain. The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer), leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas.

With Gustav Klimt, Lenz visited Ravenna in the winter of 1903-04, where they saw and were influenced by the golden mosaics. [14] At the Twentieth Exhibition in 1904, Lenz's painting Iduna's Apples, was considered to be one of the highlights amongst the paintings shown, along with the works of Klimt and Rudolf von Alt. The large painting, similar in style to Aubrey Beardsley, created a "gorgeous" effect of gold and black: a black-haired woman sits in a lush landscape, wearing only a golden crown and sat on a golden cloak, holding Iduna's apple—also golden—in her hands. [15] Within the Secession, for the first decadeLenz was a Pre-Raphaelite influence; after 1910, his work showed more naturalism, and he moved away from the foreground after 1918. [1]

Gustav Klimt Austrian symbolist painter

Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.

Ravenna Comune in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. It then served as the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Byzantine Empire. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards.

Mosaic image made from an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials

A mosaic is a piece of art or image made from the assembling of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It is often used in decorative art or as interior decoration. Most mosaics are made of small, flat, roughly square, pieces of stone or glass of different colors, known as tesserae. Some, especially floor mosaics, are made of small rounded pieces of stone, and called "pebble mosaics".

Art nouveau

A Song of Spring (1913). Maximilian Lenz - Fruhlingsreigen (1913).jpeg
A Song of Spring (1913).

Lenz served on the Secession's official committee in 1905 [16] and again in 1906. [17] He also exhibited with the Secession in spring 1906, showing the Forest King and the Wailing Maiden; [18] in 1907; [19] in 1908 at the Twenty-Ninth Exhibition; [20] in 1909 and 1910, showing the playful painting Marionnetes; [21] [22] in 1911, showing Concert; [23] in 1913; [24] and as part of a collective exhibition in 1941. [25]

His 1913 painting A Song of Spring was influenced by the dancer Isadora Duncan's 1904 stay in Vienna, sharing her symbolic themes of cyclic renewal and rebirth and featuring mediaeval costume. These ideas and a connection with dance are also prominent within Klimt's work, and the Symbolist movement as a whole. [26] Lenz also painted religious themes, including The Baptism of the Ethiopians. [27]

During World War I, Lenz created several posters advertising Austro-Hungarian war bonds. [28]

In 1926, he married Ida Kupelwieser (1870–1927), the daughter of the jurist Karl Kupelwieser. [29]

He left the Secession and rejoined the Künstlerhaus in 1938. [1]

Selected works

A 1917 poster advertising war bonds, designed by Lenz. Maximilian-Lenz-1917-Zeichnet-achte-Kriegsanleihe.jpeg
A 1917 poster advertising war bonds, designed by Lenz.

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  1. 1 2 3 "Lenz, Maximilian". Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815–1950 . 5. 1970. pp. 139–140.
  2. "Ordentliche Mitglieder" [Ordinary Members]. Ver Sacrum . 1: 28. 1898.
  3. Wilhelm Schölermann (21 April 1898). "Die erste Ausstellung der "Vereinigung bildender Künstler Österreichs"". Kunstchronik: Wochenschrift für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe. 22: 355.
  4. 1 2 "A World". Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest . Retrieved 2014-04-04.
  5. "Liste der verkauften Werke". Ver Sacrum . 6: 32. 1899.
  6. "Studio-Talk". Studio: international art (76): 131–132. 1899.
  7. Wilhelm Schölermann (27 April 1899). "Die Frühjahrs-Ausstellungen der Secession und des Künstlerhauses in Wien". Kunstchronik: Wochenschrift für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe. 23: 356.
  8. Georg Jacob Wolf (15 March 1912). "Winterausstellung der Münchener Secession". Die Kunst für alle: Malerei, Plastik, Graphik, Architektur. 12: 274.
  9. "Liste der verkauften Werke". Ver Sacrum . 12: 209–210. 1901.
  10. B Zuckerkandl (1 April 1902). "Wiener Ausstellungen". Die Kunst für alle: Malerei, Plastik, Graphik, Architektur. 13: 297–299.
  11. Joseph August Lux (1902). "Klinger's Beethoven und die moderne Raum-Kunst". Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration: 480.
  12. "Von Ausstellungen und Sammlungen". Die Kunst für alle: Malerei, Plastik, Graphik, Architektur. 12: 286. 15 March 1904.
  13. Karl Michael Kuzmany (1908). "Jüngere österreichische Graphiker, [2]: II. Holzschitt". Die Graphischen Künste: 73–74.
  14. Günther Berger (2009). Relazioni. Peter Lang. p. 32. ISBN   9783631569221.
  15. Ludwig Hevesi (29 April 1904). "Wiener Brief". Kunstchronik: Wochenschrift für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe. 23: 373–374.
  16. "Vermischtes". Kunstchronik: Wochenschrift für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe. 24: 399. 19 May 1905.
  17. "Vereine". Kunstchronik: Wochenschrift für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe. 26: 411. 25 May 1906.
  18. Karl Michael Kuzmany (1907). "Die Frühjahr-Ausstellung der Wiener Secession". Die Kunst für alle: Malerei, Plastik, Graphik, Architektur. 17: 398.
  19. "Ausstellungen". Kunstchronik: Wochenschrift für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe. 6: 90. 23 November 1906.
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  22. Karl Michael Kuzmany (1 June 1910). "Die Frühjahr-Ausstellung der Wiener Secession". 17: 386.
  23. Karl Michael Kuzmany (1 July 1911). "Die Frühjahrausstellungen der Wiener Secession und des Hagenbundes". 19: 436.
  24. Josef Foinesics (15 June 1913). "Wiener Frühjahrausstellungen". Die Kunst für alle: Malerei, Plastik, Graphik, Architektur. 18: 414.
  25. "Anhang". Die Kunst für alle: Malerei, Plastik, Graphik, Architektur. 1: r. 1 October 1941.
  26. 1 2 "Frühlingsreigen or A Song of Spring". Peter Nahum At The Leicester Galleries. Retrieved 2014-04-04.
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  28. "Subscribe to the 8th War Loan". World Digital Library. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-04.
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