Austrian art, term for art primarily in the area of ​​today’s Austria.

According to the historical circumstances, independent developments can be recognized in the individual (federal) states up to the late Middle Ages. A special Austrian species began to develop under the Habsburgs in Upper Austria and Lower Austria. In the heyday around 1350, around 1500 and later BC a. In the Baroque, Biedermeier and Art Nouveau periods, but also in the more recent achievements in architecture, Austrian art was of supraregional importance and served as a role model.

Early and High Middle Ages

The beginnings of post-antique Austrian art go back to the 8th century. During this time in goldsmithing and book illumination in Salzburg and its surroundings, insular (English art) and late antique traditions were combined: Tassilokelch(Kremsmünster, around 768 / 69–788, probably 777), Cutbercht Gospels (Vienna, Austrian National Library, around 785– 790), Codex Millenarius (Kremsmünster, around 800).


The churches in Linz (Sankt Martin, 799) and Wieselburg (around 990) were originally central buildings. In the parish churches, however, the simple hall church type with a choir square and apse dominated until the 13th century (e.g. Zwettl Stadt, Propsteikirche, around 1120). Cathedral and collegiate churches in the 11th and 12th centuries were mostly flat-roofed, three-aisled basilicas with apses, initially without a transept: Sankt Peter in Salzburg (11th century and 1130–43), Millstatt (11th / 12th centuries), Seckau (from 1141/42) and the former cathedral of Gurk (with large hall crypt; after 1131 or before 1220). Sankt Paul im Lavanttal (12th / 13th century) follows the example of Hirsau. Early vaulted buildings (the Cistercians) are the nave of Heiligenkreuz (ribbed vault, from around 1147) and the church of Viktring (pointed barrel vault, from the middle of the 12th century). The round church of Petronell-Carnuntum (around 1200) initially served as a baptistery. Round buildings are also the Lower Austrian Karner of the 12th / 13th centuries. Century with their sculptural jewelry (Deutsch-Altenburg, Mödling, Tulln).


The number of Romanesque wooden sculptures is small: triumphal cross group from Seckau (around 1160), Melkerhof crucifix from Vienna (before 1200), door reliefs from the west portal of Gurk Cathedral (around 1200). Stylistically inconsistent are the tympanum stone reliefs from the 12th and 13th centuries (including Gurk, Millstatt, Sankt Paul im Lavanttal, Salzburg: Nonnberg, Franziskanerkirche, Sankt Peter). The relief cycle of the apse of the church of Schöngrabern (around 1225–30) and the giant gate of Sankt Stephan in Vienna (around 1230–50) are major works of late Romanesque architectural sculptures.

Wall painting

Salzburg painters, trained on southern German and especially Byzantine models, created an important cycle in the former west choir of the collegiate church of Lambach, in which political ideas of the time of origin are also reflected (late 11th century); The wall paintings of Salzburg-Nonnberg (around 1150) and the Johanneskapelle von Pürgg (around 1160) can also be assigned to Salzburg art. Larger cycles were also preserved in Sankt Georgen ob Judenburg and in Karner von Hartberg (both around 1240–50). The paintings on the west gallery of the cathedral of Gurk (around 1260–70) with a representation of the throne Solomonis are a major work of the Gothic-style zigzag style.

Stained glass

The Margaret window in the former collegiate church in Ardagger (around 1230) and the ornamental grisaille panes in the cloister of Heiligenkreuz (around 1220–50) are significant evidence of the Romanesque glass painting, which has only survived in fragments. The panes from the Dominican Church in Friesach (around 1270–80; today ibid, Sankt Bartholomäus) can already be assigned to the zigzag style.


From around 1020 the center was Sankt Peter in Salzburg: Gospels from Sankt Peter (around 1020; New York, Pierpont Morgan Library); Pericopes by Custos Perhtolt (around 1080; ibid); Giant Admont Bible (around 1145–50; Vienna, Austrian National Library); Antiphonary from Saint Peter (around 1165; ibid). – In almost all Austrian monasteries in the 12./13. Century, artistically active scriptoria can be proven.


The “Verdun Altar” (1181) by Nikolaus von Verdun, originally a pulpit cladding, was created for the collegiate church of Klosterneuburg and is considered the highlight of medieval enamel art. The chased and engraved chalice of Saint Peter (around 1160/70; Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum) and the bronze baptismal font in Salzburg Cathedral (lion probably around 1220, basin 1321) come from Salzburg workshops.


Around 1900 photography was also accepted as an artistic medium in Austria. According to Allcitycodes, the prerequisite for this were technical achievements in the field of photography, which v. a. Joseph Petzval (* 1807, † 1891), Anton Martin (* 1812, † 1882) and Peter Wilhelm Friedrich Voigtländer (* 1812, † 1878). H. Henneberg , Heinrich Kühn (* 1866, † 1944) and H. Watzek were influenced by Impressionism. Emil Mayer (* 1871, † 1938) documented local color and Viennese folk types. The Vienna Society of Dora Kallmus (* 1881, † 1963) and Arthur Benda (* 1985, † 1969) in their »Atelier d’Ora«, by Hermann Clemens Kosel (* 1867, † 1945), Trude Fleischmann (* 1895, † 1990) and the versatile Rudolf Koppitz (* 1884, † 1936) portrayed. Anton Josef Trcka (* 1893, † 1940) became known for his artist portraits (G. Klimt, E. Schiele). R. Hausmann, who was born in Vienna, made a significant contribution to Dadaism with his photo collages. As chroniclers of current affairs, the sports photographer Lothar Rübelt (* 1901, † 1990) and after the war E. Haas, Franz Hubmann (* 1914, † 2007), Harry Weber (* 1921, † 2007), Erich Lessing (* 1923, † 2018) and Inge Morath are of particular importance.

Since the 1950s, the use of photo-technical possibilities has been pushed beyond the conventional point of view and photography has been expanded through the use of collages (among others at Valie Export, G. Rühm); “Author photography” has dominated since the 1970s, and is characterized by its individual style and specific subject matter. Important representatives of this direction are Branko Lenart (* 1948), Manfred Willmann (* 1952), Friedl Kubelka-Bondy (* 1946), Peter Dressler (* 1942, † 2013), Leo Kandl (* 1944), Paul Albert Leitner (* 1957) and especially Heinz Cibulka (* 1943) with his subtle “pictorial poems”. Elfriede Mejchar (* 1924, † 2020) combines precise documentation with irritating detailed studies. Margherita Spiluttini (* 1947) emerged as an architectural photographer. Space and the illusion of space, partly digital, using technologies that are at Herwig Kempinger (* 1957), John German (* 1960), the team Sabine Bitter (* 1960) and Helmut Weber (* 1957), Lois Renner (* 1961) and with Ilse Haider (* 1965) in the foreground. Gregor Zivic (* 1965) is considered a representative of »staged photography«.

Austrian Arts

Austrian Arts
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