Max Kurzweil (1867-1916)
Portrait of a Bearded Man, Circa 1895
Oil on canvas, 40 1/4 x 30 3/4 inches
Signed in pencil upper right “Max Kurzweil”
Maximillian or Max Kurzweil studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna with Christian Griepenkerl and Leopold Carl Müller, and attended the Académie Julian in Paris from 1892, where he exhibited his first paining at the Salon in 1894. He was co-founder of the Vienna Secession in 1897 and editor and illustrator of the influential Secessionist magazine Ver Sacrum (Sacred Spring). Kurzweil was also professor at the Frauenkunstschule, and in 1905 he was awarded the Villa Romana prize. His later works show influence from Edvard Munch and Ferdinand Hodler. He committed suicide in 1916 after having shot a female student who was his lover.
Despite his relatively short career, Kurzweil belongs to the most significant representatives of the Viennese Secessionist movement after Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.