Herbert Boeckl as the brightest representative of Austrian modern art. A fashionably designed stamp introduced by Austria Post

Herbert Boeckl as the brightest representative of Austrian modern art. A fashionably designed stamp introduced by Austria Post
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StampNews.com is excited to let all philately enthusiasts know that Austrian Post has issued a commemorative stamp in the “Modern Art in Austria” series to one of the most important proponents of Austrian modern art: Herbert Boeckl’s oil painting “Liegender Frauenakt (Weißer Akt) (reclining female, nude), dating from the year 1919, is considered one of his main works and is on display in the Leopold Museum in Vienna.

Herbert Boeckl was born on 3rd June 1894 in Klagenfurt and developed an interest in painting at an early age. After failing to gain admittance to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna at the age of 18, he began studying architecture, but never gave up painting. Through his studies he met Adolf Loos and developed contacts with other artists such as Egon Schiele, Carl Moll and Oskar Kokoschka. At the end of the First World War he abandoned his studies and opened an artist’s studio in Klagenfurt. In 1919 he married Maria Plahna, who was the model for many of his works, including the “Liegender Frauenakt”.

Since he achieved little recognition in Klagenfurt, Boeckl moved to Vienna, nevertheless frequently returning to Carinthia. Following several trips abroad, in 1927 he was finally able to put on an exhibition at the Vienna Secession and to sell several pictures to the Austrian Gallery. In 1935 he was made a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, later being appointed rector there. In 1952 he began work on a monumental cycle of frescoes depicting the apocalypse in the Angel Chapel of Seckau Abbey.

He spent eight years working on this, creating one of the most significant works of sacred art of the 20th century. Herbert Boeckl died on 20th January 1966 and is buried in a grave of honour in Vienna's Central Cemetery. He received many awards, such as the Austrian State Prize, the Guggenheim Prize, the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art and the Ring of Honour of the City of Vienna.

In artistic terms, Herbert Boeckl was always ahead of the times. His early works were characterised by a strong expressionistic style. Colour was one of his most important means of expression. He used few but strong colours, which were applied generously, creating an almost three-dimensional effect. His style changed repeatedly throughout his creative career, during the later phases reflecting his preoccupation with international abstract art. In addition to his oil paintings he also produced many drawings and watercolours. His favourite topics were originally portraits and nudes, later adding still lifes, landscapes and anatomical studies. The “Liegender Frauenakt” shows the figure of a woman which is just hinted at with a black outline and with little distinction between her and the background.

Following the deaths of Egon Schiele, Otto Wagner and Koloman Moser in 1918, Herbert Boeckl was considered one of the main proponents of modern art in Austria and had a decisive impact on Austrian art in the 20th century.

This stamp amazes real art conssieurs as well as collectors by the airiness of a nude model depicted on the item. To get acquainted with other interesting stamps on the similar theme and to appreciate their exquisite design read our special article by following the link.

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