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Permanent Collection


Pavel Künl

(Mladá Boleslav, 1817 – Ljubljana, 1871)

Marija Giontini
1847, oil, canvas, 90 x 74 cm
signed lower left: P. KÜNL/1847

NG S 170, National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana

Preservation: Good. The frame comes from the old frame-collection of National Galery.
Restored: Štefan Hauko, 1970; Kemal Selmanović, 1998
Provenance: The royal administration of Drava province bought the picture for National museum, Ljubljana, Inv. no. 3547; National Gallery of Ljubljana took possession of the picture in 1934, registered in another inventory book under no. 567.
Exibition: Bourgeois Painting, Painting from the first half of 19th century from the National Gallery collection; National Galery, Ljubljana, new wing, Puharjeva 9; 10 May - 31 August 2000
Lit: Baš, 1987, 237 (picture.); Rozman, 1987, 114; Jaki, 1998, 10.

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.