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Art in Slovenia

Georg Johann Seitz - Biedermeier and Romanticism

(Nuremberg?, 1810 − Vienna, 1870)

According to the old literature Seitz was born in 1810 in Nuremberg, but Heinz Schöny found that he was born in Vienna, where he died in 1870. He was a painter of floral still lifes, still lifes with fruit, and still lifes with fruit and birds. He painted on wood and on canvas. He was probably a student at the Vienna Academy. He showed his work at the Academy exhibitions in 1830 and 1842.

Lit.: Reallexikon zur deutschen Kustgeschichte, Editor Otto Schmitt, Vol. II, Stuttgart-Waldsee 1948, p. 934; Heinrich Fuchs: Die österreichischen Maler des 19. Jahrhunderts, pp. 139 and K 48; Heinz Schöny, A Letter to Ksenija Rozman, dat. Dunaj, 18. 3. 1989.
Biedermeier and Romanticism
Heavily censored public life between the Congress of Vienna and the Spring of Nations in 1848, weakened Church patronage, and the ascending middle class marked the era when life focused on the privacy of the family circle, individual dignity and the sense of belonging; this is expressed in the Central European art as the style of Biedermeier which coexisted with a Romantic view of nature. 

Portraiture was the genre of painting that saw its heyday in this era. Matevž Langus, Jožef Tominc, Mihael Stroj and Anton Karinger established themselves as individually formed portraitists who demonstrated their self-confidence as artists also through their self-portraits. The painters initially relied on formal characteristics of Neoclassicism. Stroj’s late portraits and particularly those by Karinger abandoned the Biedermeier manner and adopted a more realistic approach. 

Interest in landscape first appeared as the background of portraits; towards the mid-century first autonomous city vedute emerged. The Biedermaier landscape is idyllic, descriptive, and furnished with staffage figures. Painters were attracted by tourist destinations and locations that were related to homeland identity: Mt. Triglav, Lake Bohinj, Bled. Anton Karinger and Marko Pernhart established themselves as explicit landscapists. The latter became famous for his multi-part panoramas from mountain peaks. 

Still lifes became an attractive decoration of a middle-class home, and they also found favour with amateur women painters, one of whom was Countess Maria Auersperg Attems.