Historicism relies on historical precedents. It is the deliberate use or revival of historical styles in contemporary works, also used during the Renaissance around the second half of the 19th century. Also called neostyles (Neo-Romanticism, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque) and when intermixed, one speaks of Eclecticism.

In several nations, Historicism played a leading role in search for a national style. Typical here is the German architect, Heinrich Hubsch’s (1795-1863) work.

Heinrich Hubsch

The main characteristics of Historicism are antique motifs and sensuous rendering that delights in narrative. In Vienna, this epoch is called “Makart era”. Hans Makart’s major works can be seen in Belvedere, Vienna. Makart’s art dominated the 19th century and the Modern Amoretti was his first great success.

Modern Amoretti (by Hans Makart)

 Makart’s overwhelming scale and technical mastery is The Triumph of Ariadne (a curtain design for the Komishce Oper) is one of the many commissions linked to the Ringstrasse development which affected all artistic genres, thus Vienna attracted artists from all parts of the monarchy and above all from Germany.

The Triumph of Ariadne (by Hans Makart)

Ringstrasse is one of Vienna’s main sights, a circular road surrounding the Innere Stadt district of Vienna. It is typical of the historical style called Ringstraßenstil (Ringstraße Style) of the 1860s to 1890s.

Following picutres are most outstanding examples of pictorial genre by Historicists and Individualistic artists:

By HistFranz Defregger (Austrian artist, 1835-1921)

By Individualistic Anton Romako (Austrian artist, 1835-1921)

By Orient painter Leopold Carl Muller







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