Josef Mathias Trenkwald

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Josef Mathias Trenkwald , drawn by Jan Vilímek in 1887
Josef Mathias Trenkwald: Foundation of the University of Prague
Josef Mathias Trenkwald: The Battle of Lipan
Josef Mathias Trenkwald: Transfer of the relics of St. Adalbert to Bohemia by Prince Břetislava
Josef Mathias Trenkwald: Entry of Leopold VI. to Vienna
Josef Mathias Trenkwald: Ottokar I. Přemysl and Vladislav III.

Josef Mathias (von) Trenkwald (also Joseph Matthias von Trenkwald , Czech Josef Matyáš Trenkwald , born March 13, 1824 in Prague , † July 28, 1897 in Perchtoldsdorf near Vienna ) was an Austrian history painter .


Trenkwald was the son of the Prague merchant Johann Trenkwald and his wife Aloisia, nee. Nuth. From 1841 to 1852 he studied at the Art Academy in Prague with Christian Ruben . From 1851 he was involved in the design of Queen Anna's summer residence (Belvedere) at Prague Castle, a project of his teacher Ruben, with a cycle of eleven historical scenes from Bohemian history, together with Ruben's students Antonín Lhota and Karel Svoboda and Emil Lauffer . When Ruben became director of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1853 , Trenkwald followed his teacher to Vienna to continue his studies there. One of his other teachers was Carl Rahl in Vienna . Between 1856 and 1861 he received a scholarship for a stay in Rome and Italy; then he returned to Vienna. In 1865 he became director of the Academy of Arts in Prague. From 1872 to 1895 he taught as a professor of history painting at the Art Academy in Vienna, whose rector he was from 1884 to 1886, and he also headed the Central Commission for the research and conservation of architectural monuments .

Trenkwald was initially a member of the Albrecht-Dürer-Bund and in 1861 joined the newly founded cooperative of visual artists in Vienna , of which he was director from 1892 to 1894. He was married to Marie von Thun and Hohenstein, the daughter of Count Franz von Thun and Hohenstein , in his second marriage . Trenkwald was a knight of the Papal Order of Gregory , received the Knight's Cross of the Franz Joseph Order in 1879 and was raised to the nobility in 1895.

One of his Prague students was Mikoláš Aleš (1852–1913), who also devoted himself to history painting. His Viennese students included the Tyrolean painters Philipp Schumacher (1866–1940) and Alfons Siber (1860–1919) as well as the Viennese painter Koloman Moser (1868–1918).

His son was the art historian Hermann von Trenkwald (1866–1942).


First, in the 1840s, Trenkwald painted fabrics from Bohemian history, such as the Hussite Battle, the large cardboard box from Johann Tetzel's indulgence sermon and some of the murals in the Belvedere at Prague Castle. Illustrations for Heinrich Heine's book of songs should also be mentioned .

With his professorship for history painting at the Vienna Academy of Vienna, Trenkwald is considered the last "institutionalized" representative of a late Nazarene style, which is characterized by impressively fleeting oil sketches. These oil sketches extend over portrait, landscape, history and genre painting. In the second half of the 19th century they increasingly took on the function of drawing. That is why there are also a large number of oil studies from the time he was in Rome that can be found in everyday life. After a five-year stay in Rome, where he trained after the Italians of the 15th century and created pen drawings (30 sheets) from German history, he returned to Vienna in 1861. His main works, created after 1861, include: parchment miniatures in the Roman Missal that the Emperor gave to the Pope , the frescoes in the burial chapel of Baron Pasquale Revoltella in Trieste (1864), in the examination room of the Academic Gymnasium in Vienna (1865–1867), which theological Virtues that represent Latin and Greek Church Fathers. Finally, the work in the new church in Karolinenthal near Prague should also be mentioned, as well as the large picture from secular history: Leopold the Glorious Coming Home from the Crusade . He also designed an oil painting of the Transfiguration of Christ for the Taborberg Monastery and nine pencil drawings from the life of St. Ottilie. For the Votive Church in Vienna, which was completed in 1879 , Trenkwald designed the St. Mary's windows in the ambulatory chapels.

His works include:

  • Guardian Angel (1844), chalk drawing
  • The death of Charles XII. in front of Fridrichshallem (1846)
  • The Scene of the Peasant Wars (1847)
  • Podloudníci šumavští (1848)
  • Battle of Lipan (1849)
  • John the Baptist, painted for the church in Turnov after a drawing by Christian Ruben (1850)
  • Frescoes in Queen Anna's Pleasure Palace (Belvedere) at Prague Castle (1851ff.)
  • Transfer of the relics of St. Adalbert to Bohemia by Prince Břetislava (1852)
  • Foundation of the University of Prague (1855)
  • Battle of the Hussites (1862)
  • Draft for the windows of the Arnoštová Chapel in St. Vitus Cathedral , Prague (1864)
  • Frescoes in the Academic Gymnasium, Vienna (1866)
  • Frescoes in the Church of St. Cyril and Method , Prague (1867)
  • Portrait of Franz Gülich at the age of 37 (+ portrait of Karoline Gülich at the age of 31)

In 1856 he drew school murals as part of "Pictures on German History" for the motifs: 'Luther is brought to the Wartburg' and 'Westphälischer Friedensschluss', published by CC Meinhold & Sons, Dresden.


Web links

Commons : Josef Mathias Trenkwald  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Josefa Matyáše for Trenkwaldů. In: Národní listy . Volume 37, No. 221, Julius Grégr, Prague August 1, 1897, ISSN  1214-1240 , p. 8 (Czech, obituary notice, bottom middle column, ).
  2. ^ C. Reiter:  Trenkwald, Josef Mat (t) hias von (1824–1897), painter and teacher. In: Austrian Biographical Lexicon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Volume 14, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2012–, ISBN 978-3-7001-7312-0 , p. 451 f. (Direct links on p. 451 , p. 452 ).