Austrian artist Karl Feiertag is predominantly known for vibrant genre scenes that celebrate a wholesome view of Austrian rural life. He also produced landscapes, cityscapes and designs for postcards. Born in Vienna, he received a first-class education via the Academy of Fine Arts - winning several medals during his time there. To gain further experience, he travelled to The Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
Upon leaving the Academy, Feiertag had developed into an acute draughtsman and keen colourist. Capable of producing scintillating works - both accurate and fizzing with buoyancy. However, looking back across his career, it appears that success wasn’t immediately forthcoming as he initially sought work in advertising. It seems like an unlikely decision given his early reputation but perhaps his ‘old fashioned’ style was contrary to the demands of middle-class patrons.
Feiertag’s scenes present an idealised view of provincial Austria. Children skip amid sun-drenched meadows, dressed in traditional clothing. While amiable peasants gather flowers surrounded by their animals - each rendered with a deft touch and skilful handling. His Austria had morals, it was gentle, celebratory, joyous and God-fearing. One can imagine that he was a fairly conservative fellow - a family man.
Later in his career, he found a steady income via the medium of postcards with his skilful designs featuring lively children, animals and toys. A far stretch from the avant-garde in Paris, yet it provided a stable career.
When Feiertag did turn his hand to painting, the results were quite spectacular and it does seem quite a shame that he didn’t produce more work.
The vivid colours of a Venetian fish market portrayed with life and exquisite draughtsmanship.
Karl Feiertag, Fish Market In Venice
A domestic scene captured with careful attention to detail - akin to a still life.
Karl Feiertag, Housemaid Cleaning Silver (1935)
Karl Feiertag was a member of the Klosterneuburg artists' association. He’s represented at the Vienna Museum.
Born in Vienna, Austria, to Josef and Anna Feiertag (née Hummel).
Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, under Franz Rumpler, Kasimir Pochwalski and Josef Mathias Trenkwald where he won multiple awards.
Worked in Vienna and Munich for various advertising companies.
Travelled to the Netherlands.
Travelled to Italy.
Married Helene Antonia Schwab in Vienna.
Became a member of the Klosterneuburg artists' association.
Died in Weidling, Austria.