Monday, January 20, 2014

Carl Moll - square paintings

The Austrians seem to have a thing for squares. Gustav Klimt used the square format almost exclusively, and the Czech/Austrian modernist architect Adolf Loos popularised the use of square windows in his facades.
These square paintings are by Carl Moll, another Austrian. 

Moll successfully incorporated into his work Impressionist techniques of colour and brushwork, and the compositional daring of Modernism, while still preserving 19th century accuracy.

Despite its quality, Moll's work has been pushed to the side somewhat (I only discovered it fairly recently). A founding member of the Vienna Secession, he exhibited with Klimt, and was considered his equal. Both artists broke away from the Secession in 1905.

Perhaps the main reason for art history's side-lining of Moll was his enthusiasm for the Nazi Party. It was very disappointing to read about this in his biographical data. There were some Jewish connections in his family, and it's possible that he wanted to be seen as a Nazi supporter as a means of camouflaging himself and his family. Moll's attitudes were conflicted, he was on very cordial terms with his Jewish son-in-law Gustav Mahler, but like most Austrians of his time and class he was anti-semitic. The fact that he committed suicide as the Russians marched on Vienna in 1945, unfortunately suggests that he was loyal to the Third Reich to the bitter end.


Be said...

Really liked my first visit to your blog. I appreciate you making posts based on specific themes. I have a tumblr myself, exclusively made of trees in art. Come check it out:

jeronimus said...

Thanks for commenting. Your trees in art tumblr is a real store of wonderful lesser known art. Thanks for the link. I will add it to the blog page, as it's landscape related. Hope this is OK.

Be said...

Well of course it's ok! That would be very kind of you. I really like the way you post on themes, it's a great idea and the only disappointment comes with the fact that they're too short! ;)

By the way, i will share a usefull trick to find the artist behind a found image. First go on Google images. Click on the little camera icon at the end of the line. You will then be able to paste the image URL or upload the image from your cumputer. Google will scan the internet for that image and give you the answer.

So who's the artist behind that second painting in your "Architectural Elements" post back in 2011? I will let you find it:)

jeronimus said...

Hi Be. I was a bit slack in my earlier days of blogging, and didn't always remember to acknowledge images. I was mainly blogging for myself.

I found out about uploading to google images to search too. It's amazing, and very useful.

Thanks for reminding me about it.

Found it!
Thomas W. Schaller

Be said...

Good! I'll keep an eye on your blog, Jeronimus. Have a good week.

Hels said...

I haven't thought about Moll for a while, then The Blue Lantern discussed him and then I saw your post. Many thanks.

The relationship of Moll to Mahler was not a simple one. Firstly Moll was a student of Emil Jakob Schindler, father of Alma Schindler Mahler. Secondly after Schindler's death, Moll married Schindler's widow, Anna.

jeronimus said...

Hi Hels.

Thanks for that link, and for the extra info about Moll.

His behaviour is hard to fathom. He was genuinely fond of his Jewish son-in-law, Mahler, but also rabidly antisemitic, according to people who knew him. Sadly some people seem to be able to compartmentalise their hearts and minds.
It must have been tough for Alma at family dinners. Not only because of her father, but because her half-sister was married to a Nazi official.

A. Decker said...

I like his paintings.

jeronimus said...

Hi Albert.
I like them too. I would love to see the originals some day.