Otto Frölicher

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Otto Frölicher after a portrait by Hans Thoma

Otto Viktor Frölicher , also Otto Fröhlicher or Otto Froelicher (born June 5, 1840 in Solothurn , † November 2, 1890 in Munich ) was a Swiss landscape painter and the most important German-speaking representative of the Paysage intimate .


Frölicher came from the small-town educated middle class and grew up in Solothurn and Olten . His father Josef Frölicher was a member of the government from 1849 to 1856 . Otto Frölicher's talent for drawing was shown early on. In October 1859 he went to the Academy in Munich to be trained as a landscape painter by Johann Gottfried Steffan . In 1863 he moved to Düsseldorf , where he stayed until 1865 and approached Oswald Achenbach's mood painting. After his attempt to build up an existence in his native Solothurn had failed, he returned to Munich in autumn 1868. There he discovered the school of the intimate mood landscape of Adolf Heinrich Liers . In the autumn of 1876 he traveled to Paris on Lier's recommendation . But he couldn't cope with the big city life there and returned to Munich in 1877, where he finally settled.

Here he taught himself, preferably Swiss, for example Hermann Hunziker or Otto Gampert . At the age of 39, Frölicher developed diphtheria . The aftermath of this disease, along with cancer , haunted him for the remaining eleven years of his life.

Frölicher was a member of the artist group Kassandra and the artist society Allotria in Munich. In addition, he was a member of the jury for the Glaspalast exhibitions several times and was chairman of the Swiss support association in Munich.


Together with Johann Adolf Stäbli, Otto Frölicher is considered to be the most outstanding representative of the German-speaking Swiss paysage intimate . In contrast to others who paid more attention to cheerful landscapes, the landscapes of the two German-speaking Swiss remain gloomy. "Similar to the Romantics , the landscape for them was, as it were, an echo of an inner soul landscape."

"As a moderate innovator, Frölicher played a not to be underestimated part in getting the local art public used to modern painting."


Works by Otto Frölicher include a. in the following museums:


  • M. Gisi:  Frölicher, Otto . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 49, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1904, pp. 177-179.
  • Roswitha Hohl-Schild: Otto Frölicher. A 19th century Swiss painter in search of his landscape. Typescript. Licentiate from the University of Zurich, 1987.
  • Hermann Uhde-Bernays: Otto Frölicher. His life and work. Biography. Schwabe, Basel 1922.
  • Gottfried Wälchli: Otto Frölicher 1840-1890. Biography. Gassmann, Solothurn 1950.


  1. a b Roswitha Schild: Frölicher, Otto. In: Sikart

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