Still in his lifetime the Tyrolean artist was ennobled and honoured for his masterpieces
Franz von Defregger is one of the most famous Tyrolean artists. Not only was he popular in his home-country Austria, but also far beyound borders. Little Franz was born in the municipality of Dölsach in East Tyrol on April 30, 1835, as second son of a prosperous farmers' family. When his father died, he decided to sell the farm of his family and emigrated to America.
However, only after a short period of time he realised that his plans did not work out and he returned to Europe and settled down in Innsbruck. From 1860 he studied at the vacational school of Innsbruck, taught by Michael Stolz. This is how his career as painter and artist started. Michael Stolz recognised the extraordinary talent of Franz Defregger and wanted him to meet Karl Theodor von Piloty, who recommended him to attend the art academy in Munich. Thus he continued his journey and went to Munich, where he attended the painting class of the Cornelius disciple Hermann Anschütz. In 1878 he was declared professor for history painting.
Some of his masterpieces are "Das Glockenspiel" (The carillon, 1890), "Der Zitherspieler" (The zither player, 1887), "Der letzte Kuss" (The last kiss, 1874) and "Heimkehr des Siegers" (The return of the winner, 1876). Interesting are the pieces of art concerning farmer's daily life. Defregger himself has a peasant background, which influenced his style and image motifs. Franz Defregger died in Munich on January 2, 1921 at the age of 85, where he was laid to rest in the family vault.
(in the picture: Das letzte Aufgebot, 1872, oil on canvas)