Schwager was born in Duppau in 1822 as the son of the bourgeois tanner master Johann Schwager (1798–1871) and his wife Rosalia Tobisch (1794–1877). He had a twin brother named Wenzl Wilhelm († 1822). His mother comes from the Bohemian farmer and scholar family Tobisch . After training as a pharmacist, Schwager began studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 1847 . Johann Ender and Leopold Kupelwieser were among his teachers .
His work consists primarily of commissioned portrait paintings, for which he also traveled to France, England, Belgium, Russia and the German states. He created a variety of miniature portraits of wealthy citizens and members of noble houses. On behalf of Emperor Franz Joseph I , he made a miniature of Empress Elisabeth in 1854 . Brother-in-law was also a royal court painter. Today his works are mostly in private hands and can occasionally be found at art auctions. Schwager showed special artistry in depicting childlike faces.
In 1958 Schwagergasse in Vienna- Liesing was named after him.
- Constantin von Wurzbach : Brother-in-law, Richard . In: Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich . 32nd part. Imperial and Royal Court and State Printing Office, Vienna 1876, p. 270 ( digital copy ).
- R. Keil: Austrian Biographical Lexicon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Volume 11, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-7001-2803-7 , p. 413. In:
- SOA Plzeň, baptism entry in the church book of Duppau, s. 113. 
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Brother-in-law, Johann Richard (full name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Austrian painter|
|DATE OF BIRTH||September 14, 1822|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Duppau|
|DATE OF DEATH||September 8, 1880|
|Place of death||Rodaun|