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Anton Azbe



Azbe Anton

(b Dolencice, nr Skofja Loka, 30 May 1862; d Munich, 5 Aug 1905).

Slovenian painter and teacher, active in Germany. He trained in Ljubljana with the Slovenian painter Janez Wolf (1825–84), who taught him in a style derived from Anselm Feuerbach and the work of the Nazarenes and emphasized the ethical ideals and role of art. Azbe studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna (1882–4), and at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich (1884–91), where he became an excellent draughtsman, especially with nudes and portrait heads. In the spring of 1891 he opened his own private school, the Azbè-Schule, which established a reputation. From 1898 to 1901 Igor’ Grabar’ joined him as a teacher there. Its students included the Slovenian Impressionists Matija Jama (b 1872), Rihard Jakopic and Matej Sternen (b 1870), the Serbian Nadezda Petrovic, the Croatian Josip Racic (1885–1909) and the Czech Ludvík Kuba, as well as Vasily Kandinsky and Alexei Jawlenski. He was looked on as an infallible and tolerant teacher, but his own painting was restricted by his teaching duties and his bohemian way of life, much of it spent in the Dichtelei and Simplicissimus cafés in the Schwabing district of Munich. In his own works and in his teaching he promoted the use of unmixed colours, applied directly on to the canvas. His drawings (e.g. Portrait of a Bavarian, 1890; Ljubljana, N.G.) and such paintings as Negro Woman (1895; Ljubljana, N.G.) adhere to his Realist doctrine, while In the Harem (after 1900; Ljubljana, N.G.) shows greater ease, using strong, colourful brushstrokes. Azbe was greatly influenced by the emphasis within the artistic circle in Munich on Realism in portraits and genre paintings and by an interest in representational problems that also stimulated the artists of the Secession.


Self portrait, 1886



Half nude woman



Portrait of a Bavarian man



Portrait of a black girl



The village choir



Sketch for the unfinished Harem



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