Painters: 200th Birthday of Peter Fendi
Peter Fendi, the great watercolorist of the Viennese Biedermeier period, was born in Vienna on September 4, 1796. He was the son of Joseph Fendi, who was a schoolmaster, and his wife Elizabeth. While still a child, he demonstrated an impressive talent for drawing and at the age of thirteen entered St. Anna's Academy of Fine Art, where he was to remain for three years. Decisive to Fendi's career development was his encounter with Joseph Barth, who was the personal eye doctor of Joseph II and an enthusiastic art collector. Through his connections to other influential contemporaries, Fendi became an artist at the Imperial Gallery of Coins and Antiquities, which belonged to the imperial art collections. The artist occupied himself mainly with printing, etching, lithography, and wood carving. His experiments in multicolored printing are considered pioneering achievements in the field of lithography. Since art appreciation was part of what it meant to be alive during the Biedermeier period, Fendi was often summoned to noble and common residences to give instruction in drawing and painting. In choosing idyllic family motifs, Fendi became the founder of Genre-painting, which became customary during Vienna's Biedermeier period. Fendi died on August 28, 1842. Today his works can be found in the Albertina Museum's collection of graphic art in Vienna, in the Austrian Gallery in the Belvedere, in Vienna's Museum of History, and in the collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein in Vaduz.
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