Martin Johann Schmidt

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Self-portrait of the artist (pen drawing from 1790)
A characteristic late work in which every detail dissolves in what appears to be random splashes of pigment: “The Beheading of St. Catherine”, 1791, study for an altar panel for the cathedral in Brno, Czech Republic, which was not executed in this way. Feuchtmüller (1989), WV No. 945
"Maria, Hilfe der Christisten", 1755, Marien Altar in the parish church of Waizenkirchen (Upper Austria)
House in Stein an der Donau

Martin Johann Schmidt , called "Kremser Schmidt" , (born September 25, 1718 in Grafenwörth ; † June 28, 1801 in Stein an der Donau ) was next to Franz Anton Maulbertsch the most outstanding painter of the Austrian late Baroque / Rococo . At the same time he is probably the only international baroque painter from Lower Austria .

life and work

He was the son of the sculptor Johannes Schmidt and a student of Gottfried Starmayr . Schmidt spent most of his life in Stein, from where he mainly worked on churches and monasteries in the area. Influences in the work can be found above all from Rembrandt van Rijn , Jacob van Schuppen and the frescoes Paul Troger and Daniel Gran . His house in Stein has been preserved to this day.

Due to personal contacts with the Academy of Fine Arts , he received the first major commissions for the parish church in Stein (1751) and the (today's) Piarist church in Krems an der Donau (1756). Although he had not had any academic art training, he was accepted (as a history painter ) in the Vienna Academy in 1768 - the recordings “Arbitration of Midas” and “Die Schmiede des Vulkan” are now in the Austrian Belvedere Gallery in Vienna. His domain, however, were mainly devotional and altar paintings (for example in the Scheibbs monastery church ). Not least his motifs, some of which are quite popular, made him very popular even during his lifetime. He was also an important draftsman and left numerous etchings . There are echoes of Rembrandt van Rijn .

His pictures are kept in warm light and dark tones, from the 1770s onwards they gained a strong coloring and a color scheme that was unusual for the era. In it they remind of Franz Anton Maulbertsch. While Maulbertsch found himself established in classicism in his late work , Schmidt remained committed to the late Baroque image conception until the end. This also corresponds with an increased personal religiosity at this time.

In the 1780s he dealt again with mythological motifs and genre scenes . Schmidt's private passion was Dutch painting in the 17th century. Without commission, he created genre scenes and character heads in the Dutch style on paper after Rembrandt, Ostade, Callot and other artists of this era. These sheets can also be used as templates for the student group. Some of these works were edited by Ferdinand Landerer and published as engravings. This work earned him the nickname of Lower Austrian Rembrandt.

Not least because of his long life, the list of his works is very extensive. The master's main works are in the picture gallery of the St. Paul Abbey in Carinthia . These are mainly large-format pictures - including the famous Last Supper (227 × 391 cm). Smaller works are in large numbers in the Göttweig and Seitenstetten monasteries .


High and side altar paintings in the St. Barbara monastery church in Scheibbs

Student / workshop

The students of Martin Johann Schmidt continue the oeuvre of their master almost identically, so that it is often difficult to differentiate between the works for both the layman and the expert.

  • Anton Mayer (* approx. 1777; † 1852)
  • Leopold Mitterhofer
  • Andreas Rudroff
  • Andreas Kitzberger


Web links

Commons : Martin Johann Schmidt  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Fritz Dworschak et al., Vienna, 1955, p. 96.
  2. Dehio Lower Austria north of the Danube 1990 , Moritzreith, Filialkirche Heiligste Dreifaltigkeit, pages 758f
  3. ^ Krems, Stein and Mauter; Felix Dworschak; 1928; page 12