**Austrian children's clothes in art: Johann Baptist Ritter

Johann Baptist Ritter (Austria, 1813-90)

Austrian family 1840s
Figure 1.--This is one of Johann Baptist Reiter's family portraits--the Schegar family (1842). We know nothing about the family other than they were obviously a large and wealthy, presumably Viennese family. They are in the garden of their impressive home. There are seven children who look to be about 1/2-14 years old, both boys and girls. It is a wonderful family portrait that any Viennase family would hve lovedtgo hang in the family parlor. It is a tour de force of 1840s Austrian children's fashions. Notice that there was no cnvention for suits to have matching jackets and pants. The younger boys wear colorful outfits, a dress and tunic.

Johann Baptist Reiter was born in Liz (1813). He was Austrian portrait and genre artist active during the Biedermeier period.He came from a working-class family. His father was a master carpenter. Johann spent 3 years as an apprentice at his father's shop. He painted furniture, signs, and crosses. The crosses were popular to hang in Cathokic Austrian homes. The lithographer and art dealer, Josef Hafner noted his work and encouraged him. Johann enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. His teachers were Leopold Kupelwieser and Thomas Ender, among others. After finishing his early studies, he first worked as a porcelain painter. Vienna was known for fine porcelin, often with beautiful painting. Unlike Germany to the north, Austria developed little heavy industry. Kupelweiser apparently heliped him earn a scholarship given by the Upper Austrian Landstand. This allowed him to continue his studies (1834-37). He began exhibited and won the Lampi-Preis for model drawing (1836). After finishing his studies he married (1839). At first Ritter did genre and historical works, but he found the market was better for portraits. He was huge success. A good example is a portrait of the Schegar family (1842). We know nothing about the family other than they were obviously a large and wealthy, presumably Viennese family. Ritter was soon living in a substantial Viennese house and moved around the city in a four-horse carriage and a rather ostentateous Moorish servant. Given his liberal outlook he sided with the revolutionaries during the 1848 Revolutions, but not enough to get him arrested, but apparently enough to cause problems at home. His wife left him (1850). His popularity was unaffected For the next two decades. He was very prolific A 2013 retrospective included 170 works and there were many more. He was an active participant at the exhibitions of numerous Austrian art societies through 1870. He remarried (1866). His wife was extremy extravagent, outdtripping even his substantial income. He accepted more commissions than he could reasobly complete and the qiality of his work declind. He also begn turing out copies of Old Masters. His wife died (1889). He followed her (1900).


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Created: 10:36 PM 7/29/2021
Last updated: 10:36 PM 7/29/2021