* 1698 Welsberg
† 1762 Wien
Paul Troger, who counts among the most important Austrian baroque painters, was born at Welsberg, a small town in the Puster Valley, in 1698. It seems to be very likely that he received first lessons in art in the school of Giuseppe Alberti.
His first patron, the prince bishop of Gurk Jakob Maximilian Graf Thun, supported Paul Troger during a perennial sojourn to Italy. It is assumed that Paul Troger visited Rome in 1722, in order to study ancient art as well as early- and high baroque fresco painting. Afterwards Paul Troger visited Francesco Solimena in Naples, whose lively chiaroscuro had decisive influence on him. In Bologna he was especially enthused about the earthen and fiery coloring of Giuseppe Maria Crespi, in Venice he admired the soft stroke of the brush of Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Paul Troger developed his own expressive late baroque style from these manifold sources of influences, a style that touched the line to early Classicism.
In 1725 Paul Troger returned to Austria where he spent some time in Gurk and Salzburg and eventually settled and worked in Vienna as of 1728. He soon became established, received numerous commissions and led a large studio with many students. In 1751 Paul Troger was appointed professor at the Vienna Academy of Art, between 1754 and 1757 he was the school's director.
The oeuvre of paintings by Paul Troger is dominated by illusionist murals and expressive panels. Paul Troger captured religious subjects in light and color effects with rich contrasts. Paul Roger executed many church commissions in Austria, Hungary and Moravia.
In the field of graphic art Paul Troger made also great accomplishments: His etchings were highly acknowledged, so were his virtuous hand drawings in feather or red chalk, which are close to the art of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
Paul Troger died at Vienna in 1762.