Franz Xaver Kosler

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Biography of Franz Xaver Kosler ( 1864-1905 )

Vienna 16 August 1864 – 15 December 1905

Franz Xaver Kosler was born in Austria and is accepted in the class of general painting at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1881. He then completes his education at the Special School with the most famous Austrian orientalist painter Léopold Carl Müller. The master will have a great influence on the pictorial choices of Kosler, and more particularly in his genre scenes works and his young Arab people portraits.

In 1886 he undertakes a study tour in Dalmatia (actual Croatia), Montenegro and Albania, then in 1882m at the instigation of Müller, leaves for Egypt for the first time. He second trip to the country is subsidized by the Archduke Karl Ferdinand of Austria who has been portrayed twice by the artist. The same year, he carries out his first exhibition in Cairo and meets a great success; commissions for portraits pour in, and among them Prince Said Halim Pacha, grandson of Mohammed Ali and future Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire. The Prince purchases two more paintings, including "Fellah Woman and child".He settles in Cairo during winters and meet there wealthy English purchasers who help him exhibit two paintings at the Royal Academy of London: "Vegetable sellers, Cairo" and "The Blind beggar".

He first exhibits in 1895 at the Küntlerhaus of Vienna and is appointed member of the Society of Painters in 1901. He regularly takes part to Viennese Salons in the followings years and also exhibits at the Glaspalast of Munich in 1899. As a very popular painter among the English society, the Royal Academy of London organizes a retrospective of his works shortly after his death in 1906.

The Kosler's style is not without reminding his master Müller talent, with his technical mastery and skilful use of light. He paints in light shades with great attention to detail. He devotes himself to a meticulous work on face expressions and enhances the whole by a perfect harmony of colours: Kosler is a great portraitist, beyond doubt.

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