The death in 1801 of Martin Johann Schmidt – regarded by some as the last great painter of his time – was considered the late end of the Baroque’s golden age. Yet his influence extended well into the next generation of artists. Schmidt, also known as Kremser Schmidt, is still one of the most popular Baroque painters of Central Europe. Starting from October 25, 2018, an exhibition called IM BLICK will be dedicated to him in the Upper Belvedere.
To attribute the end of the Baroque to the year 1801 is quite daring. Nevertheless, the death of the Baroque painter Martin Johann Schmidt, a.k.a. Kremser Schmidt, can certainly be seen as the end of this era, even as his compositions continued to enjoy uninterrupted acclaim for an extended period that followed. His students carried the artist’s style well into the nineteenth century.
During his lifetime, Kremser Schmidt had already become a legend. In addition to Paul Troger and Franz Anton Maulbertsch, he remains one of the most important Baroque painters of Central Europe. Although he enjoyed widespread recognition, he nevertheless chose Stein-bei-Krems to be his home and it was from there that he carried out his commissions. Even the Emperor Joseph II visited him at his home. The reach of his influence is illustrated by his works housed in what is now Slovenia, where he was an eminent source of inspiration for artists there. Kremser Schmidt himself as an artist was apparently heavily influenced by Rembrandt, whose ethnic character depictions and other similarly styled representations of contemporaries seemingly inspired the work of the native of Lower Austria. Taking advantage of works located in the Belvedere, Schmidt’s extensive oeuvre will be outlined in all its facets in the IM BLICK exhibition in the Upper Belvedere.