Famous Austrian Artists & Painters

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Find out more about the greatest Austrian Painters, including Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, Angelica Kauffman and Gottfried Helnwein.
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 1 
Gustav Klimt
(Austrian Symbolist Painter and One of the Most Prominent Members of the ‘Vienna Secession’ Movement)
Gustav Klimt
9
Birthdate: July 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baumgarten, Vienna, Austria
Died: February 6, 1918

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.

 2 
Egon Schiele
(Austrian Expressionist Painter, Draftsman, and Printmaker)
Egon Schiele
4
Birthdate: June 12, 1890
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tulln, Austria
Died: October 31, 1918

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. 

 3 
Friedensreich Hundertwasser
(Austrian Visual Artist and Architect)
Friedensreich Hundertwasser
4
Birthdate: December 15, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: February 19, 2000

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.

 4 
Joy Adamson
(Naturalist and Author of the Book 'Born Free', Which Documents Her Experience In Raising a Lion Club)
Joy Adamson
4
Birthdate: January 20, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Opava, Czechia
Died: January 3, 1980

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.

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 5 
Oskar Kokoschka
(Artist, Poet and Playwright)
Oskar Kokoschka
5
Birthdate: March 1, 1886
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pöchlarn, Austria
Died: February 22, 1980

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.   

 6 
Gottfried Helnwein
(Austrian-Irish Visual Artist Known for His Photorealistic Paintings of Disturbing Subject Matter)
Gottfried Helnwein
5
Birthdate: October 8, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Born in Austria, contemporary visual artist Gottfried Helnwein later bought a castle in Cologne, where he worked, and then moved to Ireland, where he bought another castle and transformed it into his studio. His hyper-realistic performance art and installations, known as Aktions, reflect grim themes such as the Holocaust.

 7 
Richard Neutra
(Architect)
Richard Neutra
3
Birthdate: April 8, 1892
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 16, 1970

Born into an affluent Austro-Hungarian family, Richard Neutra later moved to the U.S. Best known for imparting the International Style in American architecture, he had previously worked on an award-winning project in Palestine. He created iconic buildings such as the Lovell House and also penned books such as Survival Through Design.

 8 
Soap&Skin
(Musical Artist)
Soap&Skin
5
Birthdate: April 5, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gnas, Austria

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.

 9 
Anna Mahler
(Sculptor)
Anna Mahler
4
Birthdate: June 15, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 3, 1988

Anna Mahler lost her composer father Gustav Mahler at age 7 and spent much of her childhood at the studio of her mother Alma's lover, artist Oskar Kokoschka. She grew up to be a Grand Prix-winning sculptor. Her works include bronze figures of musicians and the popular Female Nude.

 10 
Alfred Kubin
(Austrian Graphic Artist Known for His Drawings and Paintings of Dreamlike, Often Morbid, Subjects)
Alfred Kubin
3
Birthdate: April 10, 1877
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Litomerice, Czechia
Died: August 20, 1959

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.  

 11 
Franz von Bayros
(Former Artist, Illustrator best known for his controversial Tales at the Dressing Table portfolio.)
Franz von Bayros
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1866
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Zagreb, Croatia
Died: April 3, 1924

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.

 12 
Ernst Fuchs
(Former artist who was one of the founders of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism)
Ernst Fuchs
3
Birthdate: February 13, 1930
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: November 9, 2015

Paintings, sculpture, and prints of Austrian painter, sculptor, poet, composer, singer, architect, draftsman, printmaker, and stage designer Ernst Fuchs addressed themes of religion and mysticism. Student of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Fuchs co-founded the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. He acquired the Otto Wagner Villa in Hütteldorf, which was later transformed and inaugurated as the Ernst Fuchs Museum.

 13 
Helmut Lang
(Austrian Artist and Former Fashion Designer)
Helmut Lang
4
Birthdate: March 10, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

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.

 14 
Valie Export
(Artist)
Valie Export
3
Birthdate: May 17, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Linz, Austria

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.

 15 
Hermann Nitsch
4
Birthdate: August 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

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.

 16 
Peter Fendi
(Painter)
Peter Fendi
3
Birthdate: September 4, 1796
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 28, 1842

Biedermeier period Austrian painter Peter Fendi had sustained spine injuries as a baby after falling from a table. However, that didn’t deter his artistic zeal, and he grew up to master oil and watercolor painting and even experimented with wood carving and etching. The mother-and-child theme is predominant in his works.

 17 
Erwin Wurm
(Artist)
Erwin Wurm
3
Birthdate: July 27, 1954
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bruck an der Mur, Austria

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.

 18 
Lucie Rie
(British potter)
Lucie Rie
2
Birthdate: March 16, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 1, 1995

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.

 19 
Hans Makart
(Painter)
Hans Makart
2
Birthdate: May 28, 1840
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: October 3, 1884

Austrian painter Hans Makart is best known for his colorful historical paintings. He also founded the Makartstil or Makart style of decorating public spaces. He designed furniture and clothes, too. His lack of factual accuracy and his reliance on female nudity were both despised by academics.

 20 
Gabriela von Habsburg
3
Birthdate: October 14, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

Best known for her abstract stainless steel and stone sculptures and artwork, Gabriela von Habsburg is the granddaughter of former Austrian emperor Charles I. She was raised in exile and later taught as an art professor. She owns a vineyard in Georgia and has also been Georgia’s ambassador to Germany.

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
3
Birthdate: February 6, 1736
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Swabia, Germany
Died: August 19, 1783

German-Austrian Franz Xaver Messerschmidt was a court sculptor in Vienna but was later forced to move to Pressburg, now Bratislava, where he worked on a series of over 60 heads, made of either tin alloy or alabaster. The heads have peculiar expressions, but their meaning hasn’t yet been unearthed.

Peter Johann Nepomuk Geiger
2
Birthdate: January 11, 1805
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 29, 1880

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.

 23 
Wolfgang Paalen
2
Birthdate: July 22, 1905
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 24, 1959

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.

 24 
Christoph Haizmann
2
Birthdate: 1651 AD
Birthplace: Traunstein, Germany
Died: March 14, 1700

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.  

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1793
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 23, 1865

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.  

 26 
Joseph Lange
(Painter)
Joseph Lange
2
Birthdate: April 1, 1751
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: September 17, 1831

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.

 27 
Hans Zatzka
(Painter)
Hans Zatzka
2
Birthdate: March 8, 1859
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 17, 1945

Austrian academic and fantasy-painter Hans Zatzka is noted for his paintings of fairies, women, and fantastical scenes, besides his religious paintings and altar pieces that are dedicated to different churches in Austria. He often signed his works using different pseudonyms like Joseph Bernard so as to avoid penalties of breaking contracts which restricted the number of works he could sell.

 28 
Camillo Sitte
(Architect)
Camillo Sitte
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1843
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: November 16, 1903

Renowned Austrian architect Camillo Sitte, best known for his book City Planning According to Artistic Principles, believed in a lot of ideas that were similar to those of English architect Sir Ebenezer Howard. He had also been the director of the Vienna State Polytechnic School and launched the periodical City Building.

 29 
Arik Brauer
(Painter)
Arik Brauer
2
Birthdate: January 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 24, 2021

Painter, printmaker, singer-songwriter, dancer, poet, academic teacher, architect and stage designer Arik Brauer was reputed as a Universalkünstler (all-round artist) in Austria. He featured as a singer-songwriter at the start of Austropop, co-founded the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism and taught at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. His art was exhibited at many galleries and museums across the globe.  

 30 
Maria Lassnig
(Painter)
Maria Lassnig
2
Birthdate: September 8, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kappel am Krappfeld, Austria
Died: May 6, 2014

Maria Lassnig was the first female winner of the Grand Austrian State Prize. She was born out of wedlock and was mostly raised by her grandmother. Part of the Dog Pack group of abstract expressionists, she mostly created self-portraits in shades of green and magenta and explored “body awareness.”

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach
2
Birthdate: July 20, 1656
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: April 5, 1723

The Baroque architecture of Austrian architect, sculptor, and architectural-historian Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, who penned the influential book titled A Plan of Civil and Historical Architecture, greatly influenced the Habsburg Empire and shaped the architectural tastes of Austrian aristocracy for decades. Two of his major works include the Austrian National Library in Vienna, and the Holy Trinity Church in Salzburg.

 32 
Susanne Wenger
(Artist, illustrator, comics artist)
Susanne Wenger
0
Birthdate: July 4, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Died: January 12, 2009
 33 
Franz West
(Austrian Artist Best Known for His Unconventional Objects and Sculptures, Installations and Furniture Work)
Franz West
2
Birthdate: February 16, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 25, 2012

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.

 34 
Rudolf von Alt
2
Birthdate: August 28, 1812
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 12, 1905

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).

 35 
Joseph Anton Koch
2
Birthdate: July 27, 1768
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Elbigenalp, Austria
Died: January 12, 1839

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.

Johann Nepomuk della Croce
2

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.

 37 
Friedrich von Amerling
(Former Portrait Painter)
Friedrich von Amerling
1
Birthdate: April 14, 1803
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 14, 1887

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.

 38 
Moritz von Schwind
1
Birthdate: January 21, 1804
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 8, 1871

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.

Johannes Grenzfurthner
1
Birthdate: June 13, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Johannes Grenzfurthner is best known as the man behind monochrome, an alternative art magazine. The Austria artist and filmmaker often deals with topics such as subversion and nerd culture in his documentary-style films. A pioneer of techno-hedonism, he also heads festivals such as Arse Elektronika, which mingles sex and technology.

Johann Baptist von Lampi the Elder
1
 41 
Barbara Krafft
1
Birthdate: April 1, 1764
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jihlava, Czechia
Died: September 28, 1825
 42 
Fritz Wotruba
(Sculptor)
Fritz Wotruba
1
Birthdate: April 23, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 28, 1975
 43 
Paul Troger
(Painter)
Paul Troger
1
Birthdate: October 30, 1698
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Welsberg, Tyrol
Died: July 20, 1762
 44 
Eduard Charlemont
(Former Orientalist painter)
Eduard Charlemont
0
Birthdate: August 2, 1848
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 8, 1906
Josef Abel
1
 46 
Wolf Huber
(Artist)
Wolf Huber
1
Birthdate: 1485 AD
Birthplace: Feldkirch, Austria
Died: June 3, 1553

Wolf Huber was an Austrian printmaker, painter, and architect who lived and worked in Germany for many years. An important member of the popular Danube school, Huber served as a court painter. His works influenced other artists, including his contemporary Augustin Hirschvogel.

Johann Peter Krafft
1
 48 
Anton von Maron
1
Birthdate: January 8, 1733
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 3, 1808
 49 
Oz Almog
(Artist who became known for his confrontational and provocative paintings)
Oz Almog
1
Birthdate: April 15, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kfar Saba, Israel
Franz Anton Maulbertsch
1
Birthdate: June 7, 1724
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Langenargen, Germany
Died: August 8, 1796