Self-portrait with palette, oil on canvas (1856)
Anton Karinger (1829 - 1870) from Ljubljana was a Romantic painter. His artistic production in the nine years between 1861 and 1870, after he retired from the army and was able to devote himself above all to painting, was Romantic in character. And it was, after all, a romantic decision which he took in 1848, when he left the Vienna Academy to become a professional soldier, despite his weak health and a physique which was anything but strong and robust.
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For a lanscape painter who began at the Vienna Academy by copying models over half a century old and studies of trees, . . . Karingers development was very interesting. The choice of a profession cut short his studies, although in the army he got to see new and different areas and sketched a gread deal. But he was only able to devote himself exclusively to panting after his retirement and the marriage which enabled him to lead a comfortable life.
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He lived only another nine years, but his collected works show that these ware obviously very fruitful years. It is useless to speculate the direction which his further work would have taken, around 1870 the time of Romanticism had long since passed. But we continue to remember Karinger as our most distinctively Romantic landscape painter and at the same time a realistic portraitist of the 19th century. His Romanticism is above all delightfully intimate, it does not go beyond the possibilities and boundaries of his surroundings and satisfied the taste of contemporaries, who wanted faithful, but suitably romantically beautified pictures of attractive aeras as a decoration in their living rooms.