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Olga Wisinger-Florian

Biographies
Olga Wisinger-Florian

*  1844 Wien
† 1926 Grafenegg


Olga Wisinger-Florian was one of the most successful Viennese women painters of the late 19th century. Having trained as a concert pianist, she switched to painting in the mid-1870s. After taking private lessons from Melchior Fritsch and August Schaeffer, she became a pupil of Emil Jakob Schindler's in 1880. From 1881 she regularly showed paintings at the annual exhibitions mounted at the artist's house and later often showed at Secession exhibitions. Work she showed at the Paris and Chicago international exhibitions earned her worldwide acclaim. The artist, who was also active in the middle-class women's movements of the time, was awarded numerous distinctions and prizes. Wisinger-Florian's early paintings can be assigned to what is known as Austrian mood Impressionism. In her landscape paintings she adopted Schindler's sublime approach to nature. The motifs she employed, such as views of tree-lined avenues, gardens and fields, were strongly reminiscent of her teacher's work. After breaking with Schindler in 1884, however, the artist went her own way. Her conception of landscape became more realistic. Her late work is notable for a lurid palette, with discernible overtones of Expressionism. With landscape and flower pictures that were already Expressionist in palette by the 1890s, she was years ahead of her time. [EH]