Franz Matsch at the age of thirty-four, photo by Carl Pietzner, 1895
©Belvedere, Vienna, Legacy of Franz Matsch

Franz Matsch

Allegory of Comic Opera,
Allegory of Dance Art,
Allegory of Love Poetry

The paintings in Rijeka testify that Franz Matsch was a great illustrator of theatrical Renaissance-Baroque themes of emphasized plastic-illusionist spaciousness. On these paintings, Matsch showed skill in depicting figural compositions with the main protagonists with a distinctly positivist worldview. Matsch’s understanding of art is strongly influenced by his professors and mentors from the Kunstgewerbeschule who approached this type of commissions solely as decoration of architecture to which painting is subordinated. The main mission here is to make the space more visually impressive, in which Matsch succeeded. He used somewhat clichéd solutions, some of which remained present also in Gustav Klimt’s works, such as the dark incarnate for male characters and the extremely bright one for female protagonists. In terms of composition, he adapted completely to the given frame, building the scenes through several clearly separated plans.