Hans Makart

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Hans Makart, lithograph by A. Schubert around 1875

Hans Makart (born May 28, 1840 in Salzburg ; † October 3, 1884 in Vienna ) was an Austrian painter and decorator. He is considered the representative painter of the Ringstrasse epoch .


Johann Evangelist Ferdinand Apolinaris Makart was the son of the room attendant in Schloss Mirabell Johann Makart and his wife Maria Katharina Rüssemayr. The father had already tried his hand at painting and died in Italy in 1849. Makart went to Vienna in 1858 , where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts , but was dismissed as untalented. Thereupon he turned to Munich via Salzburg , where he first studied with Jost Schiffmann , who was related to him , and in 1860 switched to Karl Theodor von Piloty at the Royal Art Academy . Makart undertook study trips to London and Paris in 1862 , to Italy in 1863, 1864 and 1866 , before he was called to Vienna in 1869, where a studio was set up for him at the expense of the state .

Hans Makart on his death bed
Grave of Hans Makart in the Vienna Central Cemetery

That year Makart married Amalie Franziska Roithmayr from Munich, who died in 1873. Makart spent the winter of 1875/1876 in Egypt with Rudolf Huber and Carl Leopold Müller , where he met Franz von Lenbach in Cairo . In 1876 Makart became a professor at the Academy in Vienna. He traveled to Belgium and the Netherlands in 1877 and to Spain and Morocco from 1877–1878 . In 1878 Makart became head of the special school for history painting at the Vienna Academy. On July 24, 1879, he organized a pageant on the occasion of the silver wedding of the imperial couple ( Franz Joseph and Elisabeth ), in which several hundred protagonists were involved, for whom the costumes were designed in detail. Above all, there were Renaissance costumes for the delegations of the citizens and Baroque costumes for the artists. Numerous sketches are still preserved.

Portrait of Karoline Gomperz, 1870

From 1880 to 1882 Makart was director of the Vienna Künstlerhaus . In his studio he kept holding lavish parties, which were attended by important personalities of the time. On July 31, 1882, Makart married the former prima ballerina Bertha Linda at 6 a.m. in the parish church of Maria Hietzing . He died of syphilitic meningitis .

The Triumph of Ariadne , draft for the curtain of the Komische Oper in the Vienna Ringtheater , around 1874
Portrait of Countess Marie von Coudenhove-Kalergi, around 1875


The five senses: Feel - Hearing - Face - Smell - Taste , 1872–1879, Belvedere , Vienna
Charlotte Wolter as “Messalina” , around 1875, Wien Museum

Makart's most important role models were Titian and Rubens . His works are characterized by strong sensuality and lush pathos - all of them have a theatrical trait. They have been characterized time and again as a "rush of colors". Of his paintings, the cycle The Five Senses is best known, which can be seen in the Austrian Gallery in Belvedere Palace .

Most of the orders for building decorations failed because of his fee claims, and it was not until 1881 that his design of the staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna could begin. These paintings show allegories of painting and sculpture as well as ten representations of famous painters and their models.

He also appeared as an interior designer, especially for his patron, the industrialist Nikolaus Dumba , whereby his lavishly decorated studio was a kind of model. Even hats and collars were made according to his designs - he came very close to the ideal of the total work of art .

After his untimely death there was a general feeling that an era was coming to an end with him, and in fact it wasn't long before he became almost a figure of mockery for decades. However, his influence on younger painters should not be underestimated, such as Gustav Klimt , who also continued the staircase project in the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Makart style

One speaks of the Makart style in the home furnishings of the 19th century, which is characterized by great pomp, plush, heavy wall hangings, paneling and massive chandeliers. It enjoyed great popularity among the Viennese upper middle class of the early days. The so-called Makart bouquet also played an important role in this setting, a structure made of dried flowers, palm fronds, rushes and grasses. The historian Gordon A. Craig points out that Makart was also popular there during the founding period in the German Empire after 1871.

Makart's studio around 1875
The falconer, 1880
Design for the pageant in 1879: Farmers , 1879, Wien Museum

Makart's studio

After Makart was called to Vienna from Rome in March 1869 , he was given a studio with an apartment in the home of the sculptor Anton Dominik Fernkorns by order of Emperor Franz Joseph . In 1872 Makart had a new studio built at Gußhausstrasse 25 at his own expense, which he furnished with furniture, carpets, antiques and weapons. The second floor of the old studio served him as an apartment. The legendary studio festivals took place from 1873 onwards, and numerous prominent guests visited him there. Makart's studio, which was also open to the public, became a real tourist attraction. In 1872 Empress Elisabeth came to Makart, in 1875 there was a studio party in honor of Richard Wagner , at which the painter Arnold Böcklin was also present and Franz Liszt played the piano. Makart made his large studio available free of charge to other artist colleagues, such as Eduard Charlemont , Franz von Lenbach , Emil Jakob Schindler or Viktor Tilgner . In 1879 an elaborate Dutch costume party took place in the studio. Several artists have captured Makart's studio in pictures. After the artist's death it stood empty and was finally demolished in 1916.

Hans Makart Monument in Vienna's City Park


After he was laid out in his studio, Makart was given a grave of honor in the Vienna Central Cemetery (group 14 A, number 32), which was designed by Edmund Hellmer in 1889 . In honor of the artist in 1894 in Vienna- was Inner City the Makartgasse named. In 1898 Fritz Zerritsch erected the Makart monument in marble in Vienna's city park based on a design by Viktor Tilgner. In Salzburg, while the artist was still alive, in 1879 the decision was made to rename Hannibalplatz into Makartplatz .

Postage stamps

The Austrian Post issued several special postage stamps related to Hans Makart. In 1932, as part of a series of six stamps on Austrian painters, a value with a portrait of Makart was published. In 1948 a stamp with the image of Makart was issued under the title Wiener Künstlerhaus . In 1961 there was also a stamp 100 Years of the Künstlerhaus with a motif based on a painting by Makart. In 1990 a special stamp was finally issued for Makart's 150th birthday. On June 9, 2011, a pad was issued.

Portrait of Countess Palffy ( The Prayer ), 1880

Works (excerpt)

Charles V's entry into Antwerp, 1878
Makart's painting “Charles V's Entry into Antwerp” before the renovation of the Hamburger Kunsthalle
Portrait of Anna von Waldberg, 1883
Magdalena Plach , 1870, Belvedere , Vienna
Clothilde Beer , around 1880, Belvedere , Vienna
  • Nero in the fire of Rome , 1865
  • Modern Cupids , 1868
  • Abundantia, The Gifts of the Earth , 1870
  • A putto cleans the weapons of Mars , 1870
  • Magdalena Plach (Vienna, Belvedere ), 1870, oil on canvas, 125 × 160 cm
  • Lady at the Spinet (Vienna, Belvedere), 1871, oil on canvas, 83 × 36 cm
  • Woman in a black robe (private property), 1873, oil on canvas, 126.5 × 80 cm
  • Venice pays homage to Caterina Cornaro (Vienna, Belvedere), 1873–1874, oil on canvas, 400 × 1060 cm
  • Helene von Racowitza ( Oldenburg State Museum ; 15.751), oil on canvas, 1874
  • Portrait of Munkácsy's wife , after 1874, Lower Saxony State Museum , Hanover
  • The love letter (private property), 1875, oil on panel, 144.5 × 111 cm
  • The Death of Cleopatra , 1875, oil on panel, 122.5 × 83 cm, Dorotheum , Vienna, April 2013.
  • Charlotte Wolter as Messalina ( Wien Museum , Inv.No. 16.803), 1875, oil on canvas, 142 × 223 cm
  • Lady in Red (Linz, Lentos Kunstmuseum, inv.no.46), around 1875, oil on panel, 120 × 79.5 cm
  • A Nubian (Vienna, Liechtenstein Museum , inv.no.GE2392), 1875/76, oil on canvas, 272 × 155 cm
  • Cleopatra's Nile Hunt , 1876
  • Charles V's Entry into Antwerp (Kunsthalle Hamburg), 1878, oil on canvas, 520 × 952 cm
  • The Railways (Wien Museum), 1879, oil on canvas
  • Portrait of Dora Fournier Gabillon (Wien Museum), 1879/80, oil on panel
  • Clothilde Beer (Vienna, Belvedere), around 1880, oil on panel, 82 × 68 cm
  • The Falconer (Munich, Neue Pinakothek , Inv.-No. 13291), around 1880, oil on canvas, 106.3 × 79.8 cm
  • Lunette pictures in the staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna , 1881–1884
  • Portrait of Maria Countess von Dönhoff (as a girl; private property), 1882, oil on canvas, 240 × 110 cm
  • Young Egyptian flowers ( Landesmuseum Darmstadt ), around 1883
  • The victory of light over darkness (Vienna, Belvedere), 1883/84, oil on canvas
  • The Triumph of Ariadne (Vienna, Belvedere), oil on canvas, 207 × 186 cm
  • The Five Senses (Vienna, Belvedere), oil on canvas


  • 2011: Makart - Painter of the Senses , Belvedere , Vienna


Web links

Commons : Hans Makart  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Matriculation
  2. ↑ Daily report. Vienna, July 31. In:  Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung. Sechsuhr-Abendblatt , July 31, 1882, p. 10 (online at ANNO ). [Vermälung.] As the "NWT" announces, the marriage of Professor Hans Makart with Miss Bertha Linda took place today at 6 o'clock in the morning in the parish church in Hietzing. The notary substitute Mr. Sigmund Holding and Mr. Albert Obermayer intervened as advisers.Template: ANNO / Maintenance / waz
  3. ↑ Daily report. Vienna, August 1st. In:  Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung. Sechsuhr-Abendblatt , August 1, 1882, p. 18 (online at ANNO ). [An artist marriage.] The little bit of "society" and the little pile of "theater world" that is currently in the residence, took with some astonishment the news that we had already communicated about the marriage between Hans Makart and Fraulein Bertha Linda. Makart had spent the evening before his marriage with his most intimate friends and comrades; He stayed there until about midnight, more cheerful than usual, even talkative. When he said goodbye, he said to the painter Felix : “Well , goodbye for four weeks, tomorrow morning I'll travel to Steyr first, then on. Where? I don't know myself yet, I'll leave that to chance; I want to travel one day without a specific destination. ”That was all; not a word about adoration, not a word about a honeymoon. So one can imagine the amazed faces of the friends when they heard the next noon that Makart had married. Of course, they now set everything in motion to investigate exactly what had happened and every detail was worked out by them. It was first investigated that the wedding had already taken place at 6 o'clock in the morning in the sacristy of the Hietzingen church. The two witnesses - relatives of the bride - the only ones who had been let in on the secret, had slept in an inn in Hietzing in order to be on the spot with enough time. Makart - so it was further raised - had his servant wake him at 5 o'clock, and since he did not want his coachman to take him to church, he sent for a cab. But there was no one to be found and so Makart hurried on foot , accompanied by his servant, who was carrying a heavy travel bag, a little way until a four-seater junk box wobbled towards them. - That was the wedding companion in which the arranger of the Vienna pageant brought his bride, who was staying in her villa near Hietzing in the summer, for the church ceremony. At 6 o'clock Hans Makart and his bride stood in front of the altar; Both wore travel toilets, he a dark suit, she a light gray simple robe and a round travel hat with a blue veil. A splendid bouquet that had been ordered from a gardener in Hietzing came a little late and was brought to the church by the bride's maid, just as the ceremony was over. After the wedding, the four-person party drove to Hetzendorf, where breakfast was taken with a relative of the bride, and then the newlyweds began their honeymoon from the train station in Hetzendorf. - Hans Makart is known to have been widowed for years; his first wife, née Rothmayr from Salzburg ( sic ) , left him two children. Since the death of his first wife, the artist's sister ran the business of the artist, and for a long time his friends were of the opinion that Makart would marry his sister-in-law. A few years ago society said that the artist was going to get engaged to the beautiful daughter of a big industrialist, with whom he had long been friends, and that the lady intended to divorce her husband. A little book under the title "A Misunderstood", which appeared just at this time and in which initiated the story of this enthusiastic friendship between the young woman and the artist and the. as it is said to have recognized the former's unhappy marriage made a lot of talk at the time. This marriage covenant did not come about ... Makart met Fraulein Linda at a charity bazaar this winter. Makart’s close relationship with Miss Linda dates from the costume festival in Atelier Makart on the occasion of the opening of the international art exhibition, who only recently withdrew from the stage after the intention to switch from ballet to drama was not realized under favorable auspices wanted to. Fraulein Linda, that is to say, Professor Makart, who before she became a prima ballerina at the Vienna Court Opera was engaged in Italy and Russia, has made a not inconsiderable fortune in the latter country, where she had a reputation as an artist. She is a Viennese de pur eau - because her cradle was on Schottenfeld ; her family name is Babitsch. Hans Makart is currently 42 years old, his Gemalin 10 years younger.Template: ANNO / Maintenance / waz
  4. ^ Gordon A. Craig: Deutsche Geschichte 1866-1945. From the North German Confederation to the end of the Third Reich. Beck, Munich 1980; last Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-42106-7 , here p. 103.
  5. The 50 m² large work, which was acquired by the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1881 and permanently installed there, has been indefinitely and invisibly behind a newly drawn-in plaster wall since 2016 .
  6. Christiesʼs, 19th Century European & Orientalist Art. London May 21, 2014 Retrieved August 3, 2020. In
    1901 this painting was exhibited in the Berlin Künstlerhaus; see: German Empire. In:  Wiener Salonblatt , April 7, 1901, p. 8 (online at ANNO ).
    Countess Günther von der Groeben has arranged a portrait exhibition in the artist's house in Berlin, which has just opened. Among the paintings are two portraits of Kaiser Wilhelm by Wilma Parlaghy , a portrait of Empress Augusta Victoria by Philipp Laszlo, Hans Makart's picture of the wife of Chancellor Countess Donna Maria Bülow-Beccadelli (as a girl), etc.Template: ANNO / Maintenance / wsb
  7. Belvedere website