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Ribarz, Rudolf

Rudolf Ribarz Tulpen und Kornblumen


1848 – Vienna – 1904

“Tulips and Cornflowers”
around 1892
signed lower left and verso “Ribarz”, verso numbered label “146”
oil and tempera on cardboard
25 ½×17 ¾ in

The famous artists of Atmospheric Impressionism are today considered the most soughtafter masters of Austrian painting of the late 19th century. This art trend of plein-air painting was characterized by atmospheric light and an emotional-intimate understanding of nature. Along with Emil Jakob Schindler, Carl Moll, Olga Wiesinger-Florian, Tina Blau and Marie Egner, Rudolf Ribarz was one of the most successful representatives of this style.

Born in Vienna in 1848, Ribarz studied painting under Albert Zimmermann at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1864 to 1869. After a study visit to Brussels and a joint exhibition with masters of the “Hague School,” Ribarz moved to Paris in 1876, where he would live and work for the next 16 years. Being in close contact with the “School of Barbizon”, the international breakthrough soon followed with a busy exhibition schedule (Paris, Berlin, Munich, Venice, Vienna and world exhibitions Paris, Chicago and Antwerp). In 1892 Ribarz returned to his hometown, where he held a professorship for flower painting at the School of Applied Arts.

The present masterfully painted still life with tulips and cornflowers dates from his later years in Paris. The reduced airy composition shows the influence of Japonism, which conquered the world from Paris. The floral motif, arranged Ikebana-like, is set against an undefined background. Here probably the principle of the “Ma”, the empty space, takes effect. In Japanese ink painting, the undefined parts of the composition were of equal importance with the motif. They invited to meditative contemplation and engagement of the viewer’s spirit. The excellent flower piece testifies to Rudolf Ribarz’ abilities as a modern, naturalistic still life painter, gifted colorist and sensitive observer of nature.

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