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Reichert, Carl

Carl Reichert Schlechte Musikanten

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1836 Vienna – 1918 Graz

Title
„Bad Musicians“
Time
Vienna, end of the 19th century
signed
lower left “J. Hartung”
Technique
oil on paper on wood
Measurements
13¾×11¾ in

This charming pair of paintings was born from the brush of the famous Austrian animal painter Carl Reichert. The first picture, “Bad Musicians” shows two young dachshunds scrapping around an accordion in a parlor with a tiled stove and wooden bench. In its counterpart, “The End of the Song”, the dachshunds have laid waste to the musical instrument, and their master’s hat has also ended up on the floor. Reichert, who liked to use the synonym J. Hartung, was known for his very finely painted animal portraits and scenic depictions of animals on a small scale. The body language, facial expressions and the lustrous red-black coat of the animals are masterfully depicted and bestow the amusing scene with an incredible vivacity.

Carl Reichert came from a large family of artists and was trained predominantly by his father Heinrich Reichert. The start of his remarkable career as an animal painter was a canvas of the pointers belonging to the Baron Hügel. He was subsequently recommended to Empress Elisabeth, who commissioned Carl Reichert for several portraits of her favorite dogs at once. Emperor Franz Joseph also acquired works by Reichert. What followed was a meteoric rise to become one of the most in-demand animal painters of his time, even internationally. Like almost no other, Carl Reichert was able to capture the peculiarities, but also the personality of the four-legged darlings of the nobility and the bourgeoisie in a charming manner.

lit.: W. Skreiner: Carl Reichert (exhibtion cat. State Museum Joanneum), Graz 1982

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