17th century Flemish and Dutch paintings

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Friedrich König
Prometheus
Beaten relief on a copper plate : no dimensions given
Exhibited at the famous Beethoven exhibition of the "Vienna Secession" of 1902
Current location unknown

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König, Friedrich
"Three nymphs and a roe deer"
In short
 
Friedrich König was a multi-talented Austrian artist, one of the founding members in 1897 of the Vienna Secession, a progressive rebel movement aiming to unite modern Austrian fin-de-siècle artists and designers of very different fields. It also pursued a close relationship with other European modern art movements.
 
Our painting dates from circa 1900, that is from the early and most valued years of the Secession (1897 – 1905), before Gustav Klimt, Otto Wagner and Josef Hoffmann left. In 1901 Friedrich König and of course Gustav Klimt each decorated walls of the Vienna Secession Building of Joseph Maria Olbrich with their painted friezes for the 14th Secessionist exhibition celebrating Ludwig von Beethoven. Klimt’s influence is clearly visible in our painting in the use of gold and mosaics.  
 
About Friedrich König
 
Austrian painter, illustrator, designer and sculptor
Vienna 1857 – 1941 Vienna
 
König studied in Vienna at the “Kunstgewerbeschule” (School of Arts and Crafts) and at the Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna (1878 – 1883) and of Munich.
 
He was one of the founders of the Vienna Secession in 1897. 
 
In 1900 König had painted two large paintings for the Music Room of the Neo Renaissance Wittgenstein Palace (1871/1873) in Vienna, which was destroyed in the 1950s and replaced by a horrible apartment building.
 
In 1902, the year of the important 14th exhibition in the Secession building in celebration of Ludwig von Beethoven, he was its vice-president.  
Twenty-one artists participated in this ground-breaking exhibition.
- At the centre of the main hall of the Secession Building in Vienna stood Max Klinger’s much-criticized statue of Beethoven. 
- Three walls of the main hall were decorated by Gustav Klimt’s famous Beethoven frieze. 
- Our Friedrich König painted friezes on the two longitudinal walls of the right side hall. Other walls were decorated by Josef Maria Auchentaller and by Andri Längsbilder.
 
All friezes were painted directly on the walls with light materials. Only Klimt’s painting was preserved and displayed again since 1986.
 
By 1905, when Klimt, Wagner and Hoffmann stepped out of the movement, a total of 23 exhibitions had been held at the Vienna Secession building.
 
König published a lot of lithographs in “Ver Sacrum” (sacred spring), the official magazine of the Vienna Secession between 1898 and 1903. Between 1902 and 1916 he was a professor of wood carving at the Vienna Art School for Women and Girls.
 
In 1929, as the oldest member of the Secession, he was honoured for his seventieth birthday with an exhibition of his works. He remained a member until his death in 1941. 
 
About the three goddesses of Destiny
 
Both in the Nordic-German and in the Graeco-Roman mythology three goddesses of Destiny appear, which could actually be the subject of our painting:
 
- the three Norns in Norse mythology;
- the three Fates: the Greek Moirai or Roman Parcae.
 
Why should you buy this painting?
 
Because this magical subject dates from the key years of the Vienna Secession: it must have been around the time that König painted his Beethoven frieze (in the hall next to Gustav Klimt in the Secession Building of Vienna), in a mix of Romanticism and Jugendstil (Art Nouveau).
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