Genius author of funny paintings about the life of monks and a passionate collector
Eduard von Grützner (May 26, 1846 April 2, 1925) is a famous German painter of the late XIX early XX centuries, a prominent representative of the genre in the history of European fine arts. Eduard von Grützner, in most of his masterpieces, humorously described the life of monks, and the heroes of his paintings usually appear before the audience in the images of cheerful revelers, leading a completely imperfect lifestyle. The biography of the master is closely connected with Munich, since he lived most of his life in the capital of Bavaria.
Eduard von Grützner was also an avid art collector. Over the course of many bodies, he collected masterpieces of antiques, created in different historical periods by masters of Europe and Asia.
Biography of Eduard von Grützner
Eduard Grützner was born on May 26, 1846 in the village of Groß-Karlovice, which then belonged to the Prussian Empire, and today is part of western Poland. He was the seventh child in a peasant family and also the spiritual leader of the local church community. The boy’s abilities in drawing and science were early noticed not only by his parents, but also by numerous friends of the family. The steward of a neighboring estate often brought scarce drawing paper to young Edward, and the village pastor helped him enter the gymnasium in the neighboring town of Neisse.
After completing his primary education, the young man went to Munich in 1864 to continue his studies at the private art school of Hermann Dyck. But in this prestigious educational institution he studied for only a couple of months, after which he transferred to the Munich Academy of Arts, in the class of Johann Hiltensperger. After completing the first year, he continued his studies under the guidance of Professor Hermann Anschütz. Two years later, Grützner was noticed by the director of the academy, Karl von Piloty, and transferred the talented young man to his student group.
In 1870, Edward graduated from the academy and was finally able to start developing an independent career as an artist. He rented a small garden house on the outskirts of Munich and equipped a workshop in it, and his very first work “Behind the Scenes” brought wide fame to the young author. Edward quickly gained fame as a popular painter and acquired wealthy customers. The audience liked the original humorous style of the master, and a solid army of fans of his work quickly formed around him.
In 1874, Eduard Grützner married Barbara Link, and two years later he had a daughter, Barbara.
The artist’s happy marriage lasted only 10 years, after which his wife died suddenly. In 1888, the master married a second time, the daughter of the Bavarian military leader Anna Wirtmann became his chosen one. In this marriage, his son Karl was born, but the relationship between the spouses did not work out. As a result, in 1899, the painter divorced his second wife and lived alone until the end of his life.
From a young age, Eduard was enthusiastically engaged in collecting, at first he collected unusual specimens of butterflies and minerals, and later switched to searching for antiques. Grützner collected masterpieces of Gothic and Renaissance masters for many years, and by the end of his life he was seriously interested in Far Eastern art.
In 1880, the artist was awarded the Royal Order of St. Michael, and six years later he was awarded the title of Honorary Professor of the Academy. In the mid-1910s, the authoritative painter became a Knight of the Order of Civil Merit of the Bavarian Crown and received the title of nobleman, and the noble prefix “von” was added to his surname since then.
Until his death, the brilliant artist continued to create in his favorite genre of everyday life and created many wonderful works. But on April 2, 1925, Eduard von Grützner died at the age of 78 and was buried in the Waldfriedhof cemetery, where his grave is today.
The most famous paintings by Eduard von Grützner
The great German master of painting has painted hundreds of colorful works of fine art over a long life. And yet, the most famous paintings by Eduard von Grützner are:
- “Behind the Scenes” (1870) is the work that brought the young graduate of the Academy of Arts his first fame. The author managed with amazing accuracy to convey the atmosphere of everyday theater life, usually hidden from the attention of the audience.
- Before Snack (1884) is a painting depicting a middle-aged monk who, in all likelihood, has taken a substantial portion of alcohol in a dark basement. The hero’s face radiates fun, there is not even a shadow of remorse for the perfect deed on it.
- Fried Chicken (1893) is a work in which the author describes with warm humor a scene of three monks gathering in a wine cellar. Friends have gathered here for a pleasant time in the company of drinks and snacks.
- Falstaff (1906) is a portrait of the famous hero of Shakespeare’s works, a good-natured fat drunken man. The painter repeatedly turned to this topic in his work and created several dozen artistic images of Falstaff.
Eduard von Grützner left a noticeable mark on the history of European genre painting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His paintings still attract millions of art connoisseurs to museums and give viewers a lot of positive emotions.