New Year’s day, Franz von Zuelow (1883-1963), 1946, oil on cardboard, signed and dedicated
Signed and dated bottom right “FvZulow 46”
on the reverse handwritten note “Neujahrsgruß 1946 von Franzl an mich” (New Year`s greetings 1946 from Franzl to me”
On New Year’s Day in 1946, Franz von Zülow presented his wife with this painting, as documented on the reverse by a handwritten dedication “New Year’s greeting 1946 from Franzl to me”.
It is – after the end of the war – a hopeful departure into a new year. High above the roofs, a chimney sweeper happily announces a new beginning and a woman does the New Year’s clean-up in front of her house. One can almost feel the clinking cold of this winter morning visible on the iced surfaces and frosted trees. Nevertheless, the picture bears a cheerful tune, carried by the warm, pastel colors of the houses. Zülow paints this snapshot with fast brush strokes. His dynamic painting style, combined with the expressively exaggerated color palette, lends the motif an almost magically entranced aura.
With this picture Franz von Zülow has not only succeeded in giving a friendly and hopeful New Year’s present. It also bears the unmistakable signature of one of the most versatile and important Austrian painters of the interwar period.
Franz von Zulow (Vienna 1883 – 1963 Vienna)was an important Austrian painter of the first half of the 20th century. He trained at the Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule (School of Arts and Crafts) under Koloman Moser and Karl Otto Czeschka, among others. Initially, he worked in graphics and from 1905 onwards he was designing for the the Wiener Werkstätte, in his very own, seemingly naïve, pictorial style.
The technically versatile artist enjoyed great national and international renown from the 1920s onwards with works in various printing techniques, with applied painting on ceramics and porcelain, as well as with his pasting and oil painting.
During the interwar years, Zulow was part of the so-called Zinkenbacher Malererkolonie around Ferdinand Kitt. This loose group of artists included important Austrian painters such as Josef Dobrowsky, Ernst Huber, Georg Merkel and Sergius Pauser.
Franz von Zulow’s works are imaginative, fairytale-like and expressive. They are represented in the collections such as the Austrian Gallery in the Belvedere or the Albertina.
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