Heinrich Friedrich Füger
Heilbronn 1751 - 1818 Vienna
Apotheosis of Emperor Josef II.
oil on canvas, 98 x 74 cm, original gilt frame
In September 1776 Füger was finally allowed to go on his journey to Rome as a scholarship holder of the Academy. As a proof for his academic success he was obliged to send drawings after antique models and a large historic or allegoric oil painting to Vienna.
Füger decided for an allegoric scene which should show the Emperor Josef II. as protector of knowledge and wisdom. This painting is the oil sketch for the large painting which is housed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (Inv.2476, 332 x 248 cm). The painting is signed and dated: "Füger pinx. Romae 1779". The oil sketch differs in some details from the final painting and rather reflects the influence by the neoclassical style, which Füger took out in the oil painting. The sketch shows a clear disposition of the figures without strong interferences. The sketch and the painting are actually presenting two completely different positions. The cautious gesture shows the idea of his teacher Oeser about refined taste and the reduction on the essential. The large-sized painting calls to mind modern Roman artists such as Batoni or Mengs, to whose ideas Füger tried to adjust.
Literature: K. Wilczek, Heinrich Friedrich Füger, phil. Dissertation, Wien 1925, Nr. 13. K. Wilczek, Fügers künstlerischer Entwicklungsgang, in: Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen, Wien 1928, S. 329-354 R. Keil, Heinrich Friedrich Füger, Nur wenigen ist es vergönnt das Licht der Wahrheit zu sehen, Wien 2009, S. 49, S. 224, WV 94, Farbabbildung 9
K. Wilczek, Fügers künstlerischer Entwicklungsgang“, in: Jahrbuch der kunsthistorischen Sammlungen, Wien 1928, S. 329-354.
R. Keil, Heinrich Friedrich Füger, Nur wenigen ist es vergönnt das Licht der Wahrheit zu sehen, Wien 2009, S. 49, S. 224, WV 94, Farbabbildung 9.
Price: on request