Joseph Selleny

1824 Wien - 1875 Wien

Joseph Selleny attended Thomas Ender’s class for landscape painting at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts from 1842 and from 1846 he participated in the exhibitions at St. Anna. In 1854 he was awarded an imperial travel grant to Italy in recognition of his abilities, which was very fruitful for him artistically. On the basis of Thomas Ender's observation of nature in terms of drawing and colour - which he taught to the highest standards - Selleny's distinct artistic temperament was able to develop to the full. On the recommendation of the natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt, Archduke Ferdinand Max engaged Selleny as expedition painter for the Austrian circumnavigation of the earth with the frigate "Novara" from 1857 to 1859. The important scientific results were published under the direction of Karl von Scherzer in 18 quarto volumes with numerous illustrations by Selleny. After sailing around the world, Selleny also accompanied Archduke Max Ferdinand (later Emperor Maximilian of Mexico) on his trip to Brazil in 1859. In total, Selleny was honoured nine times with high awards, including the Emperor's Prize and the Mexican Order of Guadeloupe, as well as being accepted as a member of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. Because of the esteem in which he was held by the imperial family, he was also allowed to give painting lessons to Crown Prince Rudolph. As a member of the board of the Vienna Künstlerhaus-Association, Selleny opened the newly built Künstlerhaus in 1868. In November 1875, the Künstlerhaus held an extensive exhibition of his works in the artist’s memory.


Wurzbach, Biographisches Lexikon des Kasierthums Österreich; Thieme-Becker; Bestandkatalog 19. Jahrhundert der Österr. Galerie Belvedere