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Berthold Löffler (Austrian, 1874–1960)

About this artist

Source: Oxford University Press

Austrian painter, printmaker, designer and ceramicist. After being taught to draw at the Gewerbemuseum in Reichenberg, from 1890 to 1900 he studied drawing at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna (now the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst) under the Austrian Franz von Matsch (1861–1942). In 1909 he was appointed a teacher at the Kunststickereischule in Vienna, and from 1909 to 1935 he was a professor at the Kunstgewerbeschule. In 1906 he founded Wiener Keramik with Michael Powolny. The firm contributed tiles for Josef Hoffmann’s Palais Stoclet in Brussels (1905–11). From 1907 the Wiener Werkstätte took over the distribution and sale of their vases, figurines, boxes and tiles, selling them also in Germany from 1908. In 1913 Wiener Keramik merged with the Künstlerische Werkstätte Franz und Emilie Schleiss in Gmunden to form the Vereinigte Wiener und Gmundner Keramik. In collaborative works by Löffler and Powolny it is often very difficult to establish who did different aspects. Löffler preferred to provide the often fanciful designs, leaving the modelling to other assistants, for example in the figurines Lady in a Stylized Crinoline (Vienna, Hist. Mus.) and Putto with Horns of Plenty (c. 1912; priv. col., see 1964 exh. cat., pl. 15). In 1907 he collaborated on the decoration and furnishing of Kabarett Fledermaus, his contribution including a poster, illustrations for the first programme sheet, the entrance ticket and a fan (Vienna, Hist. Mus.). He also provided designs for pieces of jewellery and postcards for the Wiener Werkstätte and designed the posters for the Kunstschau of 1908 and the Internationale Kunstschau of 1909 in Vienna (Vienna, Hist. Mus.). He produced much graphic work involving books, especially for Wiener Verlag (e.g. the wrapper, title page and design for Arthur Schnitzler’s Reigen, 1903), ex-libris plates, different types of printing and designs for banknotes, securities and postage stamps. His work in other media included a fresco of St Florian (1930; Dürnstein, Gasthof Thiry) and the altarpiece Salvator Mundi (1923; Vienna, Am Schüttel church). From 1921 he was a member of the Künstlerhaus in Vienna; he was awarded its ‘Goldener Lorbeer’ in 1954.

Sabine Kehl-Baierle
From Grove Art Online

© 2009 Oxford University Press

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