Austrian symbolist painter, Gustav Klimt, was one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. His primary subject was the female body, and he produced numerous paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. He was known for his deliberate painting style. He successfully avoided personal scandal despite having an active sex life.
Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter whose work is well-known for its raw sexuality and intensity. An early exponent of Expressionism, Schiele was one of the early-20th century's most prominent figurative painters. His life and career inspired the 1980 biographical film Excess and Punishment, in which Schiele was played by German actor Mathieu Carrière.
Austrian visual artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser is remembered for his imagination, his love for bold colors and uneven forms, and his dislike for “straight lines.” He and his Jewish mother escaped the Nazis by posing as Christians. His architectural projects are focused on environment-friendly buildings, such as the Hundertwasserhaus apartment block.
Best known for her iconic book Born Free, which describes her experiences of raising a lion cub named Elsa, Joy Adamson was a noted Austro-Hungarian wildlife conservationist. She excelled in music and medicine in her younger days and later settled in Kenya with her third husband, conservationist George Adamson.
Austrian artist, playwright, poet and teacher Oskar Kokoschka CBE is counted among the prominent exponents of Expressionism whose works influenced the Viennese Expressionist movement. Notable works of Kokoschka include paintings like The Bride of the Wind and Portrait of Lotte Franzos and writings like the short play Murderer, the Hope of Women and the play Orpheus und Eurydike.
Renowned Austrian graphic designer and typographer Stefan Sagmeister had initially aspired to be an engineer but later changed his mind. He now owns the company Sagmeister Inc., which has designed album covers for some of the best talents in the music industry, such as The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith.
Austrian printmaker, illustrator, and occasional writer Alfred Kubin is counted among the important representatives of Symbolism and Expressionism. He is noted for his inventive black-and-white drawings that included dreamlike, often morbid, subjects and portrayed supernatural creatures and sexual violence. He illustrated Der Orchideengarten magazine, and has also worked for the likes of E. T. A. Hoffmann and Edgar Allan Poe.
Austrian artist Raoul Hausmann is remembered as much for his satirical photomontages as he is for his contribution to Dadaism. Born to painter and conservator Victor Hausmann, he initially trained in anatomy and nude drawing, and then studied lithography. He had also written for journals such as Der Sturm.
Austrian alternative singer Anja Plaschg, better known as Soap&Skin, played the violin and the piano as a teen. She later dropped out of her graphic designing and art courses, to focus on music. Apart from releasing a chartbusting debut album at 18, she has also worked as an actor.
Born in Zagreb, then in Austria-Hungary, artist and illustrator Franz von Bayros was part of the Decadent movement. His art featured erotic themes and showcased women having sex with animals and mythological figures. His work Tales from the Dressing Table, which depicted lesbianism, got him exiled from Germany.
Austrian designer-turned-artist Helmut Lang is best known for his namesake fashion brand. While his minimalist fashion collections included clothes made of rubber and metal, he later sold off most of his company to Prada and eventually quit it to become a full-time artist. He now focuses solely on abstract art.
Hailed for his contribution to the experimental and multimedia modes, Hermann Nitsch is known to interpret life as a passion and the process of painting, its incarnation. Beginning his career as a graphic designer, he later combined Expressionism with religious arts and began working on the idea of the Orgien Mysterien Theater, eventually establishing himself as an internationally acclaimed artist.
Contemporary Austrian artist Valie Export is best known for her photographs, sculpture, and films, which focus on themes such as the male gaze and the female body. Her work Action Pants: Genital Panic included a performance that had her sitting and walking around wearing pants without a crotch.
Austrian artist Erwin Wurm is most noted for his humorous approach to the Formalism style and his strange depictions of daily life. The remarkable sculptures created by him using object like screws, nails, and almost anything prompts people to question the very definition of sculpture. His notable works include the Fat Car series and the ongoing One Minute Sculptures.
Austrian-born British studio potter Lucie Rie, DBE, is most noted for her bowl and bottle forms and for developing very inventive kiln processing that influenced many young British ceramists. Her pottery finds place in collections across the globe, including in the Museum of Modern Art, the Paisley Museum, the York Art Gallery and the Carnegie Museum of Art.
Viennese artist Peter Johann Nepomuk Geiger, who served as Professor of the Viennese Academy of Art, is noted for his erotic drawings, illustrations of historical works and poetry, and oil paintings for the Austrian Royal Family. His notable works include illustration of Anton Ziegler's Vaterländischen Immortellen, and illustrations of William Shakespeare, Goethe and Friedrich Schiller for the Royal Family.
Born in Austria, to a merchant father who loved collecting paintings, Wolfgang Paalen had been exposed to arts since childhood. He later trained in painting and archaeology and joined the Surrealist movement. His signature fumage technique involved creating art with the smoke and soot from candles. He later settled in Mexico.
Christoph Haizmann was the Austrian painter who had sold his soul to the Devil to attain artistic fame and was later exorcized. He had also painted several pictures of the Devil as it appeared to him. The Haizmann case was later studied by many psychiatrists and psychologists, such as Sigmund Freud.
One of the most important Austrian painters of the Biedermeier period, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller is best known for his landscape paintings, which he drew from close observation, highlighting not only his unique sense of color, but also his deep knowledge of nature. Equally known are his portraits, genre scenes, and still lifes, which are appreciated for their detailed descriptions and accurate characterizations.
Eighteenth-century actor and painter Joseph Lange is also remembered as legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s brother-in-law. Mozart, who had married Lange’s wife Aloysia Weber’s sister, appeared in an iconic portrait painted by Lange, which was later affixed to an unfinished artwork. Lange also appeared in Mozart’s operas.
Austrian landscape and architectural painter Rudolf Ritter von Alt is best remembered for his realistic and detailed style architectural and landscape paintings. He created several works, including town views, landscapes and building interiors for the Vienna Academy, but refused a professorship there. Notable works of Alt include View of Stephansdom, from the Stock-im-Eisen (1832); and Portrait of a lady (1838).
Austrian artist Franz West is noted for creating unconventional objects and sculptures, furniture work and installations using ordinary materials like wire, aluminium, polyester, papier-mâché and plaster. Over the years, his creations have been displayed in different museums and galleries and in expositions like Documenta and the Venice Biennale. One of his notable works is The Ego and the Id.
Austrian painter Johann Nepomuk della Croce, a protégé of Austrian painter Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni, painted five thousand portraits and two hundred historical pictures, as estimated by Felix Joseph von Lipowsky. These include making a self-portrait in 1762 and a Mozart family portrait in 1780. della Croce’s son Clemens de La Croce followed his footsteps to become a painter.
Austrian painter of Neoclassicism Joseph Anton Koch, who was later influenced by the German Romantic movement, is probably the most noteworthy neoclassical landscape painter. Some of his notable works include Landscape with Abraham and the Three Angels in the Valley of Mambre, Waterfalls at Subiaco, Landscape with Bileam, and the four frescoes in the Dante Room of the Villa Massimi.
Born in Austria, Moritz von Schwind led a bohemian life for much of his youth. The famed painter later moved to Germany, where he taught at the Munich Academy. His art reflected Romanticism, and his subjects were often casual honeymooning couples. He also painted the glass windows of the Glasgow Cathedral.
Austrian portrait painter Friedrich von Amerling was a favorite of the Viennese aristocrats. The court painter of Austro-Hungarian king Franz Josef, he was known for his skilled use of colors. He was well-traveled and had been married four times. He had managed to acquire the Gumpendorf Castle, too.
Walter Pichler was an Austrian sculptor, architect, designer, and artist. Best remembered for creating installations and objects designed for utopian city models, Walter Pichler came up with visionary architectural ideas. Along with Hollein, Pichler worked towards founding a new school of architecture aimed at liberating art from the constraints of conventional methods.