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 Eduard von Grützner  (1846 - 1925)

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Lived/Active: Germany      Known for: figure, genre, interior painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
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Eduard Theodor Ritter von Grützner (1846 – 1925)

Born into a land-owning family in Upper Silesia on May 26, 1846, he showed an early interest in painting and drawing and became well known for his figure and genre paintings, especially those of monks.

In 1864, with the help of an architect Hirschberg, he left home for art education at the private school of Herman Dyck in Munich.  In his first semester, he transferred to the Classical Art class of Johann Georg Hiltensperger and Alexander Ströhuber, where the students learned about the aesthetic ideals of antiquity.  In 1865, Grützner joined the painting class of Hermann Anschütz at the Munich Academy.  Meanwhile, he also sought advice and inspiration with Carl Theodor von Piloty  until he was taken into his class in 1867.   Piloty's class was packed with aspiring artists from around the world, from Hungary, Greece, Germany, Russia, and Poland.  After three years under Piloty, Grützner left the academy.

In 1870 he moved into his own studio in the garden house of Schwanthalerstraße 18 in Munich.  He quickly began to produce one painting after another.  He made his career in Munich and was very successful.  It was reported by artist and writer Friedrich Pecht in the journal Die Kunst für Alle (Art for All) in 1886: "the painters Eduard Grützner and Ludwig Willroider were granted the title of "professor" by Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria.  In 1880 he was awarded the Order of Merit of St. Michael (Knight's Cross) first class.  Eduard von Grützner was appointed professor at the Munich Academy in 1886.  He was knighted in 1916.

Grützner, along with Carl Spitzweg and Franz von Defregger, became one of Munich's leading genre painters in the second half of the 19th century.  The paintings Grützner is best known for combine detailed academic rendering with humorous and anecdotal subject matter, often depicting monks drinking.  Apart from his monastic pictures Grützner also produced a Falstaff-cycle, theater and hunting scenes and affectionately detailed interior studies, which he often included in his monastic scenes.  He also worked as a free-lance illustrator, caricaturist and graphic artist.

He was married twice and in his old age he sought solace in Chinese philosophy, and began to collect items from the far east and learned Japanese.  Occasionally he included a Buddha figure or a Chinese vase in some of his paintings.  He also painted a number of ascetic-looking cardinals, often with harsh and unsympathetic features.  He died on April 2, 1925 in Munich.

Sources include:
eduard-grutzner.com
wikipedia.org

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