Theodor von Hörmann

1840 Imst/Tirol - 1895 Graz

Theodor von Hörmann was born on December 13th, 1840 in Imst/Tyrol. At the age of fifteen, he began his military carrer in Krems and continued this path as an officer in the army. He worked as an instructor for exercise, fencing, and drawing at various military schools. His talent was soon discovered and he obtained permission to study at the Academy in Vienna. In 1871/72 he attended Peithner von Lichtenfels' class of landscape painting alongside artists such as Hugo Darnaut, Hugo Charlemont, and Adolf Hölzel. However, Hörmann soon switched to Anselm Feuerbach’s class. In 1873 he was confronted with the School of Barbizon for the first time.

Between 1875 and 1882, he worked as a drawing teacher at the military secondary school in St. Pölten and met Emil Jakob Schindler. Due to an eye disease, he was pensioned off in 1884. That same year, he married Laura Bertuch in Vienna and joined the Wiener Künstlerhaus. One year after his first visit to France in 1886, he rented a studio in Paris. He travelled to the Channel Islands multiple times.

In 1889 he received an award for his painting „Moonlit Night in the Village Samois“. However, the painting was rejected by the conservative jury of the Wiener Künstlerhaus. From 1890 onwards, he spent his summers in Znojmo. His preferred motifs during that time were the undulating landscapes of Lower Austria and Southern Moravia. After meeting other painters such as Adolf Hölzel, the colours in his paintings became richer and more powerful. Hörmann spent the last three years of his life in Vienna. He published the Pamphlet „Künstlerempfindungen“ which he used for public criticism of his fellow artists, and in which he established himself as a spokesman of the youth. In 1894 he went on his last journey to Italy.

On July 1st, 1895 Theodor von Hörmann died while passing through Graz on his way back. The same year the „Freunde des Künstlerhauses“ hosted a memorial exhibition with 234 Paintings.