Sergius Pauser

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Sergius Pauser (born December 28, 1896 in Vienna , † March 16, 1970 in Klosterneuburg / Lower Austria ) was an Austrian painter of landscapes , still lifes and portraits .


Reichsbrücke from the east. Oil on canvas (1929). Privately owned.

As a young man he first studied architecture in Vienna, then switched to painting and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich from 1919 to 1924 . During this time he was particularly impressed by the artistic work of Max Beckmann , Otto Dix and Karl Hofer . In 1925 he returned to Vienna, studied another three months at the art academy and in 1927 became a member of the Vienna Secession .

Pauser's artistic work went through several changes in the course of his work: initially oriented towards Expressionism , from the later 1920s he turned to the strict style of New Objectivity , later he used a more relaxed style of painting.

From 1930 the painter, who, supported by wealthy patrons, often traveled to France and Italy on study trips, became internationally known. He participated in exhibitions in Germany , Switzerland and the USA and received numerous prizes and awards: in 1930 he received the Prize of the City of Vienna , two years later the Grand Austrian State Prize . In 1935 he received two awards and received both the Great Golden Badge of Honor of the City of Budapest and the prize at the international Carnegie exhibition in Pittsburgh .

In 1934 and 1936 Pauser was represented at the Venice Biennale and remained a member of the Vienna Secession until 1939. In 1942 he received the sponsorship award for the exhibition “The beautiful image of women in Vienna”. From 1943 he was head of the master school for portrait painting at the Vienna Academy for a year ; he had refused an appointment to the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe the year before.

After the war he returned to the academy in 1945 and taught there until 1967.

The following documents and sources attest to Pauser's political position during National Socialism in Austria:

In a handwritten letter from 1940 addressed to Rudolf Hermann Eisenmenger , the artist himself reports on an incident during an exhibition in the " House of German Art " in Munich, where Hitler, furiously, hung up the artist's pictures:

“... When the first exhibition in the“ House of German Art ”was supposed to open in Munich ... my 3 best pictures ... They were also beautifully hung in Munich, with Kolig , Andersen , Dobrowski and others. s. w. together and then all together by the guide personally, removed from the walls under thunderstorm ... "

Even Rupert Feuchtmüller executes this event in his monograph on Sergius Pauser (Vienna / Edition ink 1977, p 21): "... As Pauser experienced by the wife of the architect Ludwig Troost in 1939 by Hitler's outburst at the last exhibition in the" House der Kunst "in Munich, where he described all modern paintings as degenerate ..."

Isabella Ackerl described this scandal as follows: “... The incorporation of Austria into the German Reich ... However, when he heard that Hitler had allegedly suffered a tantrum in the Munich exhibition and that all works had been“ degenerate ”, this affair plunged him into one deep depression and existential fear ... "

The most recent publication in which this incident is mentioned is Bernhard Barta's book “Das Malschiff”, Österreichische Künstlerkreise der Zwischenkriegszeit, Vienna / Edition Schütz 2007, p. 43: “… Already in the summer of 1937, Adolf Hitler personally removed, along with pictures by Anton Kolig and Sergius Pausers, also works by Josef Dobrowsky from the Great German Art Exhibition in the Munich House of German Art ... "

In his monograph, Rupert Feuchtmüller (p. 22) reports that Sergius Pauser was brought to a Schanz camp near Radkersburg with five thousand so-called “politically unreliable” people in autumn 1944. The actor Curd Jürgens , who was also on this transport, writes about this time: “... I know that Sergius as well as Boeckl ... had to go through a lot of unpleasant things, as the SA guards lost their nerve more and more and left this out on the prisoners. "(Curd Jürgens in his" Memories ", autobiographical novel, Droemer Knaur Verlag 1976)

On June 6, 1945, Pauser received a letter from the City Councilor for Culture and Public Education, Dr. Viktor Matejka to Waidhofen, who, written on the stationery of the Mayor of the City of Vienna, began with the following words: “Dear Professor! As one of the few non-party comrades in the network of professors at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, I would like to welcome you to Vienna ... "

In an application from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna for Sergius Pauser to be a full Austrian academy professor to the Federal Ministry of Education on February 17, 1946, Rector Boeckl reported that the then Rector's application of May 22, 1943 to promote Pauser to the position of regular professor had been rejected . This application "to the superior department, but could not lead to success, because Prof. Pauser was criticized by colleagues for anti-Nazi comments and should only continue to prove himself."

Pauser found international recognition after 1945 and exhibited his work all over the world. In 1955 he received the City of Vienna Prize again and in 1965 the Grand Austrian State Prize for the second time. He traveled a lot, including a. repeatedly to Italy and 1950 to Turkey, where he created numerous landscape watercolors . His pictures hang u. a. in the Vienna Albertina , the Austrian Gallery , in the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna , but also in international museums.

There was a scandal in 1955 when Pauser was commissioned by the Austrian government to record the signing of the Austrian State Treaty at Belvedere Palace in an oil painting for posterity. The first result of his efforts was rejected and bought by the Federal Ministry for Education and Art. Subsequently, on commission from both the City of Vienna and the Lower Austrian State Museum, Sergius Pauser created a second and third version of the oil sketch he made on the spot. The then Chancellor Julius Raab rejected the rather impressionistic work with harsh words. The painter Robert Fuchs received the commission for a State Treaty painting ; A press photo then gave Austrian society its identity : Foreign Minister Leopold Figl with his Allied colleagues on the balcony of the Upper Belvedere after the treaty was signed.

In terms of art history, Pauser's works from his factual phase in the late 1920s and early 1930s are of particular importance. His two most important works are the state treaty picture due to its historical dimension, as well as the picture "Am Hochofen", which shows the working conditions of the metalworkers and represents the socially critical dimension of his work.

He was buried at the Vienna Central Cemetery .

Awards and honors

He received an honorary grave in the Vienna Central Cemetery (group 40, number 8).


  • Rudolf Haybach: Sergius Pauser, The Gallery of the Vienna Secession. Self-published by the Association of Visual Artists “Wiener Secession”, Vienna 1949.
  • Rupert Feuchtmüller : Sergius Pauser, A monograph with a catalog raisonné and contributions by AP Gütersloh u. W. Koschatzky. Edition Tusch , Vienna 1977.
  • Erwin Mitsch: Sergius Pauser (1896–1970), watercolors, catalog for the exhibition March 27 - April 27, 1980 in the Albertina Graphic Collection, Vienna. Vienna 1980.
  • Peter Weninger : Memorial and Exhibition Catalog Sergius Pauser 1896–1970, oil paintings and watercolors, Ed .: Stadt Waidhofen an der Ybbs, exhibition in the castle Waidhofen an der Ybbs, 19.7. - 24.8.1980. Waidhofen an der Ybbs 1980.
  • Peter Weninger: Sergius Pauser, 1896–1970, oil paintings and watercolors, catalog for the exhibition in the gallery above Café Mozart, 23 August - 29 September 1984. Salzburg 1984.
  • Heidemarie Cejnek (Red.): Sergius Pauser retrospective, catalog for the exhibition in the Frauenbad, Baden near Vienna, September 6th - October 26th, 1986. Lower Austria Society for Art and Culture, Vienna 1986.
  • Ilse Schöttner: Sergius Pauser as a teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, 1943–1967. Dipl.-Arb., University of Applied Arts , Vienna 1995.
  • Angela Pauser (Red.): Sergius Pauser, 1896–1970, oil painting, catalog with catalog raisonné for the exhibition June 26 - September 8, 1996 at the Austrian Gallery Belvedere. Vienna 1996.

Web links

Commons : Sergius Pauser  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Online article "Sergius Pauser, A Viennese Painter" / Federal Chancellery, Federal Press Service, Vienna 1997–99 ( , December 10, 1999)
  2. Sergius Pauser grave site , Vienna, Zentralfriedhof, Group 40, number 8.