Friedrich of Villach

(fl. c. 1415—1455)

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(fl c. 1415–55). Austrian painter. A citizen of Villach from 1415 at the latest, he was the founder and for many years the leader of a painters’ workshop based there, producing primarily wall paintings but also some panel paintings. Through the art of south Germany and the Alpine region he came into contact with Parisian illumination of c. 1400 and was also familiar with Bohemian painting of c. 1400–10. A skilful eclectic, he drew on these and sometimes also on traditional Italian influences in developing a late ‘Soft style’ (weicher Stil), linear and two-dimensional in effect, which was typical of Carinthia. His paintings and those closely connected with him are characterized by their rich, unusual landscapes and the slightly accentuated expressions of the heads, for example in the Legend of St George and the Imago Pietatis (c. 1421; Mariapfarr, parish church) and in the scenes of the Passion (1428; Millstatt, Ernst-Kapelle). Wall paintings depicting the Childhood of Christ, the Passion and St George (c. 1435–40; Sankt Gandolf, Glan Valley, parish church) include a Procession and Adoration of the Magi, which is deemed the best and most representative of the products of his workshop. In later wall paintings the hand of his son and pupil Johannes of ljubljana can also be detected. Only one panel painting has been attributed to Friedrich: a Virgin and Child with Four Standing Saints (c. 1435; Villach, Mus. Stadt).

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.