Vienna: NP, 1900s. Original artwork. Convolute of 70 drawings, watercolors and gouaches with designs of the Austrian painter and architect Franz Staudigl.
Staudigl is considered a headstrong, opinionated painter who objected to be identified with one particular style of art throughout his life. Being educated primarily at the "Die Graphische" and the Academy in Vienna, he was influenced by the old, in particular the Dutch masters. Travels to Holland, Bohemia, and Northern Germany are said to have had a distinctive effect on his work. The renown Galerie Heinemann in Munich, which was aryanized in 1938, showed 49 of his works in 1932 and in 1991 a memorial exhibition was staged in the Oberhausmuseum in Passau, the city he had moved to in 1914. With time Staudigl dedicated himself more and more to landscape painting.
In the early 1910s Staudigl met Ernst Wahliss, the owner of the great porcelain business and manufacturer in Vienna, and subsequently received orders to create designs for porcelain and faience. In cooperation with the architects Karl Klaus and Charles Gallé he designed symmetric layouts and concepts influenced by the Wiener Werkstätte and participated in the Exhibition of Austrian Applied Arts at the Museum for Art and Industry in Vienna, introducing the "Serapis Line" of the porcelain manufacturer Ernst Wahliss.
The forty two intricate color designs enclosed include thirteen designs created for the Serapis-Wahliss line by the porcelain manufacturer Ernst Wahliss whose son Gerhard Martin had acquired the company in 1907 after his father's death. The Serapis-Wahliss line was manufactured from white earthenware and decorated by hand with geometrically stylized natural forms. The designs in this collection are gouaches and watercolors, partly with relief gold. Of the 42 ornamental color designs four are signed "Staudigl," five stamped "Architekt u. Maler F. Staudigl, Wien, VIII. Bez. Albertgasse 1a," five with stenciled "FSTAUDIGL AM:R," twenty-three unsigned, one of them with a circular, blind-stamped trademark protection by the paper manufacturer Schoellershammer, two on black paper and three small design fragments.
Twenty pencil drawings and sketches of nudes and movement studies, peasants, landscapes, including two charcoal drawings, two of them are self portraits of Staudigl, are included in this group. Six of these sheets with drawings on both sides. The collection contains a color drawing of a female weaver, two water colors, one crayon drawing on black paper, and one landscape in ink and charcoal. The collection includes an original photograph of eleven drafts by Karl Klaus, Vienna, for the "Serapis-Series" and an original oil painting on canvas by Franz Staudigl. Finally a sheet with pencil notes and geometrical drawings on verso.
The material has the typical studio character including finished designs as well as drafts, partially completed designs, and is in very good condition. Some designs with remnants of removed mats, folds and ceasing, some tears and spotting but generally in very good to fine condition.
Selected writings on Franz Staudigl:
Vienna, The large amount of thought bestowed on the practical side of the teaching at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna is everywhere making itself felt. Throughout the Monarchy it is recognized as an axiom that to achieve good and lasting results art and craftsmanship must go hand in hand, and the feeling has urged the authorities to do their best in both branches of the training of the decorative artist. Of late much attention has been given in the domain of ceramics and Vienna bids fair to become as famous for her modern productions of porcelain and pottery as she was in the past in the days of the Imperial and Royal Porcelain Factory. Many new methods of manufacture have been tried with the result that some excellent work has been achieved. Of some of this, illustrations have already appeared in The Studio at different times. The latest development is the "Serapis" faience, of which some illustrations are here given and which gained much renown at the last Turin Exhibition. The designs are by Karl Klaus and Franz Staudigl, two young artists who were pupils of Professor Hoffmann at the Kunstgewerbeschule. Both are architects, like many other leading designers of the modern school here. It is a characteristic of this school to regard design from an architectonic point of view as something to be built up in congruity with the purpose of the object to which it is applied, and with the material of which such object is composed. In the examples of faience here reproduced, it will be seen how well this principle is carried out. The decoration is admirably congruous with the nature of the objects decorated. The coloring is rich, and beautiful effects have been gained by true artistic methods. The young artists have found an enlightened manufacturer willing ti sacrifice time and money to the cause of art. Even at the beginning of the modern movement Herr Wahliss was one of the first among the very few men who were broad-minded enough to see a future in it. The method of manufacture is of course a secret. It must therefore suffice to say that the texture is extremely fine, and being transparent the light effects are enhanced. The contours are finely marked sometimes with delicate threads of gold or silver or some line of color which throws the ornament into relief. New experiments are being made in faience as in other branches of ceramics, and further developments may shortly be expected. The Studio, 54 (1911/12) p. 66
After Grillparzer: "Die Wissenschaft überzeugt durch Gründe, - die Kunst soll durch ihr Dasein überzeugen. Die Schönheit ist die vollkommene Übereinstimmung des Sinnlichen mit dem Geistigen..." (Science convinces through reason, - art should convince through its sheer being. Beauty is the perfect accordance of the sensuous and the intellectual...) Max Eisler in Die Kunst 30 (Dekor. Kst 17), 1914, p. 483, on the Austrian Pavillion at the Werkbund-Exhibition in Cologne, characterizing Staudigl.
Landsch. aus dem Bayer. Wald u. der Donauniederung bei Passau, ferner Akt- u. Figurenbilder u. Stilleben (Landscape of the Bavarian Forest and the lower Danube near Passau, and nudes, movement figures and still lifes). März 1932 Koll.-Aust. i.d. Gal. Heinemann, München (Thieme/Becker 31/32, p. 495). Item #43793
Franz Staudigl (1885–1944) was an Austrian painter. After an apprenticeship as decorator in Vienna he attended the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt, a school for visual communication and media techniques, also in Vienna. From 1904 until 1910 he attended the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and in 1908 he visited the Bohemian Forest and the city of Passau on a stipend. In 1911 Staudigl met Ernst Wahliß, the owner of an Austrian porcelain manufacturer, and worked for him to design faience and porcelain (see W. Neuwirth, Österreichische Keramik des Jugendstils, München, 1974). In 1914 he moved to Passau and dedicated himself more and more to landscape painting (Vollmer).
Ernst Wahliss (1837–1900), born in Oschatz, Saxony, was a leading porcelain and faience entrepreneur and manufacturer in Vienna. Wahliss established stores in major European cities and supplied many of the European royal families with ceramics of the highest quality. Designers like Franz Staudigl and Karl Klaus, who had studied with Josef Hoffmann at the Wiener Werkstätte, were instrumental to catapult him into the vanguard in Austrian ceramics. Wahliss was also instrumental in introducing and developing high-end tourism at the Wörthersee to become the main Summer resort for afluent Austrians, most famously for the restauration of the Castle of Velden as a resort hotel by the architect Wilhelm Hess. The documentary "Von Porzellan und Sommerfrische - Die Geschichte des Ernst Wahliß" was produced by Focusfilm, Wien, and premiered on Austrian Television in 2015 and is currently available to be viewed at https://vimeo.com/127918484.