“Early spring in the village” Josef Dobrowsky 1954

SKU 469

“Early spring in the village”, Josef Dobrowsky, signed and dated 1954

  • Height: 55cm, Depth: 70cm
  • 1954 to 1954
    Technique: Oil on wood
    Signed and dated bottom right „J. Dobrowsky 54“Original handwritten dedication on reverse „Dieses Bild ist ein Geschenk von mir an Mdm Aina Hedly in Sandviken. Josef Dobrowsky“ (This is a present from me to Mdm Aina Hedly in Sandviken. Josef Dobrowsky)

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    SKU 469

    Josef Dobrowsky (1889 – 1964) was an important Austrian painter of the interwar period. With his landscapes, still lifes and portrait paintings he helped to shape the Austrian Classical Modernism.
    While his early landscapes and genre scenes in earthy tones were still strongly influenced by the Flemish painting of Pieter Brueghel the Elder, in his later works, he impresses with expressive coloring. Our painting dates from the later creative phase after the Second World War, during which Dobrowsky once again devoted himself increasingly to the landscape painting he favored.
    When looking at the landscape, the painter first captures the surrounding environment and then lets his eye wander into the distance. The characteristic bend in the road of the small village of Münichholz (today part of the Austrian city of Steyr) is a recurring motif in Dobrowsky’s works. The houses of the hamlet are partly in the shade. Where the sun shines, snow and tiled roofs shimmer in bright colors and offer the artist the possibility to use color as a means of expression. Dobrowsky also creates a luminous lighting mood on the clear horizon. The painter plays with light and shadow in a masterly manner, allowing individual sections to emerge vividly.
    With this painting, he skilfully captures the unique atmosphere of the transition period from winter to early spring. The snowless areas already give a hint that the cold and dark winter will soon be over.
    The work was a personal gift from Dobrowsky to Mrs. Aina Hedly in 1954, as can be seen from the painter’s handwritten dedication on the back. From the legacy of the Swedish first owner, it is now on the market for the first time, which makes the work even more interesting.


    Josef Dobrowsky (Karlsbad 1889 – 1964 Tullnerbach) was an important Austrian painter of the interwar period and with his landscapes, floral still lifes and portrait paintings, he shaped the canon of Austrian Classical Modernism. While his early landscape paintings and genre scenes in earthy tones were still strongly influenced by the Flemish painting of Pieter Brueghel the Elder, his late work impresses with expressive coloration. Dobrowsky was born in 1889 in the Bohemian town of Karlsbad and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with, among others, Christian Griepenkerl from 1906 to 1918 (with interruptions due to the war). From 1919 onwards, he worked as a freelance artist and was a member of the Vienna Secession. In the 1920s he met other painters, namely Ernst Huber, Franz von Zülow and Ferdinand Kitt, whom he became friends with. Moreover, he was a part of a loose group of artists known as the "Zinkenbacher Malerkolonie". During the time of National Socialism, Dobrowsky's artistic activity was severely restricted. Only in 1946 he was rehabilitated with a teaching position at the academy. With his position as a professor for painting and art education until 1963, he influenced a whole generation of artists, including Arik Brauer, Alfred Hrdlicka, Wolfgang Hollegha and Josef Mikl. Josef Dobrowsky, like many colleagues of his generation, remained attached to the representational in his painting. In his late creative phase, he increasingly returned to landscape painting, in which he used color as an independent means of expression. Dobrowsky died in 1964 in Tullnerbach/Pressbaum, where he had lived since 1959. In 1914 the artist was honoured with a comprehensive exhibition at the Austrian Gallery in the Belvedere.


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    “Early spring in the village” Josef Dobrowsky 1954
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