Franz Defregger (1835, Stronach-1921, Munich) was the son of a wealthy farmer, and his formal education began with a carving apprenticeship in Innsbruck under Michael Stolz. Stolz soon recognized his artistic talent and organized a meeting with artist Karl Theodor von Piloty.
On von Piloty's suggestion, Defregger attended the preparatory class at the Kunstgewerbeschule (Munich Academy) under Hermann Dyck and switched to Hermann Anschütz' painting class at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in autumn of 1861. He then attended the Kunstgewerbeverein (Munich School of Arts & Crafts).
After studying in Paris for 18 months, Defregger spent 2 years in the Tyrol. In 1867, he painted the study Der verwundete Jäger, which helped him to be accepted as von Piloty's pupil. Defregger worked in von Pilotys Munich studio studying historical painting from the master. He soon became one of the most popular genre-painters of the Munich School and had an academic influence.
His oeuvre consisted of mostly sentimental, idealized motifs of peasant life and dramatic scenes from Tyrol's struggle for freedom, which made him a favorite in the Munich salon society. For many years it was the works of Franz von Defregger that determined the image of the Tyrol for the outside world.
In the 1880's his paintings developed into a more folksy-narrative style. From 1878-1910, Defregger was a professor at the Munich Academy. He was an honorary member of theVienna and Berlin Academies and ennobled in 1883.
His work hangs in many famous institutions in Europe including the Louve, Vienna Museum, National Gallery of Berlin, Leipsic Museum, Dresden Gallery, Konigsberg Museum and the Leopold in Vienna.
Source: Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings, Neue
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