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Rudolf von Alt


Alt Rudolf von

(b Vienna, 28 Aug 1812; d Vienna, 12 March 1905). Austrian painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He was perhaps the most productive and accomplished watercolour painter in German-speaking Europe in the 19th century. On his frequent travels he produced local views, landscapes and interiors, often commissioned by aristocratic patrons. He studied with his father, Jakob Alt (1789–1872), a landscape and watercolour painter and one of the first to use the new technique of lithography. From the age of six Rudolf accompanied him on study trips, and, together with Alt’s other children, he coloured his father’s drawings. During his student days at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna (1825–32), Rudolf joined his father on further journeys and collaborated in his studio. In 1832 he won a prize, which simultaneously freed him from military service and marked the beginning of his independent artistic activity. In the same year he produced his first oil painting, after his own watercolour, of the Stephansdom, Vienna (Vienna, Belvedere), a subject that he treated on many occasions until 1898. In 1833 he and his father travelled to northern Italy; Venice, in particular, made a lasting impression on him. Two years later he went to Rome and Naples. In the brilliant southern light Alt adopted a far wider range for his radiant and transparent colour. Many of his views of Italy, and also those of locations throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire, were intended for use in a peep-show, commissioned by the Austrian Archduke (later Emperor) Ferdinand. Alt continued to receive such official commissions until 1848.


The Turkish Salon, Villa Hegel, Hietzing, Vienna



Figures on the Riva Degli Schiavone



Der Stephansdom vom Stock im Eisenplatz



Der Stephansdom vom Stock im Eisenplatz



Kirche am hof Vienna



Hans Makart's Studio Before the Auction



Schlossinterieur im Renaissancestil



Pfarrkirche und Wehrturm in Perchtoldsdorf bei Wien



A View of Monreale, above Palermo



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