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 Tina Regina-Leopoldine Blau  (1845 - 1916)

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Lived/Active: Austria/Germany      Known for: plein-air impressionist landscape painting, still life, teaching

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Ad Code: 2
"Springtime in the Prater" by Tina Regina-Leopoldine Blau
"Springtime in the Prater"
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Richard Rhoda Fine Art:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Tina Regina-Leopoldine Blau was the daughter of a Prague dentist attached to the Austrian army.  Tina Blau overcame many obstacles during her lifetime and was the only Jewish woman artist of her generation to be professionally recognized.

Her first private art teacher was Antal Hanely, followed in 1860 by landscape painter August Schaffer and then at the drawing school of Joseph Aigner in 1865.  As a result of her father’s financial and emotional support, Blau made her artistic debut in 1867 at the Österreichischen Kunstverein (Austrian Art Association) and her work was generally well-received. While visiting Munich and the First International Exhibition in 1869, she discovered the paintings of the Barbizon School*, which would greatly influence her later work.  Blau traveled in Italy, the Netherlands and France, spending the summers of 1873 and 1874 in the Hungarian artist colony at Szolnok.

In 1875, after her initial success at selling her paintings and an entry into the Viennese World Exhibition, Blau enrolled in the Munich Kunstschule fuer Maedchen (Art Club for Women and Girls) and took an atelier in the house of her teacher Wilhelm Lindenschmitt.  Together with her colleague Emil Jakob Schindler she traveled to Hungary and Holland, where she painted Jew's Street of Amsterdam (1875).  After two sojourns in Italy (1876 and 1879) she opened an atelier in the Wien Prater (Vienna City Park), from where her most popular paintings originated.  

In 1882, Blau entered a painting entitled Springtime in the Prater in the prestigious Kunsterlhaus Exhibition that was put on by the Austrian Artist’s Society.  This large canvas, depicting well-dressed Viennese visiting the much frequented nature park on the outskirts of their city, attracted considerable commentary for its especially light palette, relatively loose brushwork and luminous* qualities.  In fact, the selection panel, still adhering to the standards of academic* art, only reluctantly accepted its inclusion in the show despite its basically realistic conception.  The painting was judged by some observers to be the first impressionistic work by an Austrian.

In assessing Blau’s originality, one must recognize that Freilchtlmaerei (plein-air painting), influenced by the French Barbizon school, had been developing steadily in Austria since the 1850’s.  By the early 1870’s Blau was associated with a group of Austrian landscape painters known as Stimmungsimpressionisten*  (“mood impressionists”).  Preferring picturesque effects and mixed colors, they produced paintings substantially different from those of the French Impressionists* of the same decade. Blau produced excellent landscapes of startling simplicity and directness.

In 1884, Blau returned to Munich, where she converted to Protestantism and married the Munich-based horse and battle painter, Heinrich Lang.  At that time, her own works were presented at international exhibitions such as the World Exhibitions of Antwerp in 1885 and of Paris in 1889.  Moreover, she started working at the Damenakademie des Muenchner Kuenstlerinnenvereins, an academy of fine arts in Munich, solely for women, where she taught still life and landscape painting.

In the summers she continued traveling, especially to France, Northern Germany, and Denmark. Her first solo exhibition at the 1890 Munich Kunstverein (art association), with about 60 works including paintings and sketches, contributed to the wide appreciation of her work.  Her lifetime body of work includes more than 200 paintings, mostly landscapes of Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and France, but her primary interest centered on her Austrian scenes, primarily in the Prater where she had her studio.  She continued teaching at the Academy until 1915, the year before she died.

MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
The Dorotheum, Vienna
The Jewish Museum, Vienna
The Leopold Museum, Vienna
The Belvedere Museum, Vienna
The Wien Museum Karlsplatz, Vienna


Sources:
Dictionary of Women Artists, Vol. I, edited by Delia Gaze, SBN: 978-1-884964-21-3 (1997) Published by Routledge
G.T. Natter and C. Jesina: Tina Blau (1999); Plenair, die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau, 1845–1916 (Catalogue, Jewish Museum, Vienna, 1996).
Ankwicz, Alexandra.  Tina Blau, an Austrian Painter In Images of Women in Austria: a collection of twelve essays. Vienna: 1955, 243-271
AEIOU - Encyclopedia of Austria
Jewish Women: a Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia
Giese, Herbert:  Tina Blau:  Color Pure, Clear Light In: Parnass 12 (1992)
onb.ac.at/ariadne/vfb/bio_blautina.htm (databases at the Austrian State Library, Wien)

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