Lot 43
  • 43

Tina Blau

100,000 - 150,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Tina Blau
  • The Prater and Rotunda, Vienna
  • signed Tina Blau lower right
  • oil on canvas
  • 66.5 by 92cm., 25¾ by 36¼in.


Galerie Arnot, Vienna
Acquired by the family of the present owner circa 1980s; thence by descent


Vienna, Jewish Museum, Plein Air Die Landschaftsmalerin Tina Blau (1845-1916), 1996
Salzburg, Galerie Welz, Tina Blau (1845-1916), 1999, no. 66, illustrated in the catalogue

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1914.

Tina Blau was one of the very few female artists of her generation who was professionally recognised and commercially successful.  She had a significant public exhibition record and became financially independent early on in her career. Blau made her artistic debut in 1867/68 at the Österreichische Kunstverein and exhibited at the Viennese World Exhibition in 1873. Following the 1867 exhibition, aged twenty-two, the Österreichischer Kunstverein bought her painting Kalkofen bei Abendbeleuchtung. Blau used the proceeds from this sale to visit the first international exhibition at the Glaspalast in Munich, where she was drawn in particular to the works of the Barbizon school and met Gustave Courbet.

Following the Viennese 1873 World Exhibition, the Austrian government allowed painters to take over the exhibition buildings as studios, and Blau acquired an atelier in the Prater Pavillon building by the Rotunda. The Prater studio subsequently became an important part of her artistic and personal life, and she began to paint a series of landscapes featuring the park. The Prater would eventually become her most important motif.

In 1882 Tina Blau gained notoriety in Austria when she exhibited the plein air landscape Spring in the Prater in Vienna, which was also shown the following year in Paris at the annual Salon. While the painting gained an honourable mention at the French Salon it was met with derision in Vienna for being too progressive. By the time of her first solo exhibition in Vienna at the Salon Pisko in 1899, however, the succès de scandale surrounding the work had abated and the painting was purchased by Emperor Franz Josef for the Imperial collections (now Österreichische Galerie). It is now considered one of the first Austrian impressionist landscapes.

By 1910 Tina Blau had begun her fifth decade of reworking the Prater motif in varying formats and in different seasons. She made daily excursions into the park from her home-studio in the Prater and would regularly paint in-situ, often until late in the evening.

Blau’s Prater landscapes from this period are typically peopled by mothers and children of the middle class and upper bourgeoisie or by promenading couples. However, these figures are primarily accessories to the landscape that serve to emphasize the immensity of the space around them. Known for her ‘atmospheric impressionism’ the present work perfectly captures the mood of an early spring day, with the still timid sun raking over the first green buds sprouting from the winter mud.