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Josef Nikolaus Kriehuber - Buy or sell works

14 December 1800, Sankt Ulrich (Austria) - 30 May 1876, Vienna (Austria)

Josef Nikolaus Kriebuber was an Austrian painter and lithographer, who became best known for his watercolour portrait lithographs.

Born the son of an innkeeper in 1800, Kriehuber’s extraordinary artistic talent began to take shape in his childhood. At the age of 13 he was allowed to attend the drawing class of the Imperial Academy in Vienna. When he was 18, he worked as Prince Sanguszko’s art teacher during his stay in Poland. After returning to Vienna he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts until 1824, and became one of most productive employees at the Trentsensky publishing house. The medium of lithography was at that time still in its infancy and along with Alois Senfelder, Kriehuber was one of its pioneers.

In 1826, he published his first portrait lithographs, which quickly gained popularity. Thanks to his masterly depictions of his subjects, he rose to become one of the best-loved portraitists of the Viennese Biedermeier period. His clients were primarily the nobility and members of the upper middle class.

In 1834 his son Friedrich was born. He would later follow in his father’s footsteps and become a lithographer himself. The arrival of photography brought an end to his ground-breaking success. Despite dwindling numbers of commissions, his achievements to date received recognition in the form of awards: in 1860, he became the first Austrian artist to be awarded the Order of Franz Joseph.

Kriehuber left behind an extensive œuvre comprising around 3,000 portrait lithographs. A large number of his works now form part of the collections of the Albertina and the Austrian National Library.