Josef Dobrowsky

1889 Karlovy Vary - 1964 Vienna

Josef Dobrowsky first attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts and then, from 1906 to 1919, studied at the Viennese Academy under Christian Griepenkerl and Rudolf Bacher. His artistic beginnings lay in 'Viennese decoratism'. His early main work, "The Poor in Spirit", composed in 1914, is a large-format 'witty allegory' determined by line, color and thought-out composition. Influences of Hodler, Klimt and Egger-Lienz are noticeable in this early period. In 1919 he joined the Vienna Secession. Around 1920, the art of Pieter Brueghel the Elder became increasingly important to Dobrowsky. This was expressed on the one hand in the restriction to a few, heavy, earthy tones and on the other hand in the subject matter - pictures that tell of everyday life in the countryside show the reference to the Dutch model. Subsequently, the artist developed a style that was to earn him the title 'Lyrical Fauve' and was to remain decisive for the 1930s and 1940s. The palette became richer, preferred contents were landscape, flower pictures and portraits. With his appointment to the academy - from 1947 to 1963 he worked as a professor - a new phase in his painting began. He remained committed to the subject of reality, but color was no longer a servant of reality, but a means of expression for his own new reality, created by a specific, subjective view of things.


W. Hofmann, Moderne Malerei in Österreich, Wien 1965; Josef Dobrowsky, Galerie Würthle, Wien 1979, mit Lit.; Kunst in Österreich. 1918-1938, Österreichische Galerie, Schloß Halbturn, Wien 1984, S. 78ff, mit Lit.; Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts. Bestandskatalog der Österreichischen Galerie des 20. Jahrhunderts, Wien 1993, Bd. I, S. 152ff; H. Giese, Farbe, Ausdruck und Erzählung. Eine Verbeugung vor Josef Dobrowsky, in: Parnass, Wien 1993, Heft 2, S. 24ff; Josef Dobrowsky – Wahrnehmung und Farbe, Belvedere / Österreichische Galerie Wien, Wien 2014; Nachschlagewerke: Vollmer, Schmidt