Lebensdaten: (Graz, Austria, 1885 - Galicia, 1915)
Zu Leben und Werk: Franz Hofer: Until his untimely death (he was killed in action during the First World War), Franz Hofer was a rising etcher and painter in the influential Austrian modernist movement known as Secessionism. Generally, Secessionism was founded as a revolt against the academic standards of the day. Other leading artists within the movement were Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka, Alfred Kubin and Egon Schiele. Hofer first studied lithographic techniques in his home town of Graz. He then spent several years traveling throughout the Austrian Empire and Germany. During this period he attended art classes at the Dresden Academy.
Franz Hofer returned to Graz in 1909 and worked as an apprentice for three years under Alfred von Schrotter. During this time he was a frequent student of the Academy of Creative Arts, particularly in the etching classes of Ferdinand Schmutzer. In 1914, Hofer's etching, The Descent from the Cross, earned him a full scholarship to study art in Russia. Several months later, however, World War One commenced and the artist was forced to abandon this opportunity.
During his short life, Franz Hofer created about fifty original etchings, most dealing with either landscape views or religious depictions. This brilliant etching of an old edifice near Prague clearly illustrates that Hofer was a major artist and etcher.
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