The heyday of Vienna piano making in the late 18th century is inextricably linked to the musical developments that reached a pinnacle in the music of the Viennese Classical period. According to his contemporaries, Anton Walter was the most important Viennese piano maker of the time. He was born in 1752 in Neuhausen, a town near Stuttgart, and settled in Vienna in 1775. From 1778 until his death he ran a workshop in the so-called Fokanetische Haus in the Laimgrube district, near the present-day Theater an der Wien. It has recently come to light that Walter spent a great deal of his time as a farmer. In 1792 he bought a farm in Lower Austria near Miesenbach, where he spent several months each summer. On the so-called Gauermannhof, which still exists today, Walter cultivated fruit trees. In the wake of the French revolution, Austrian officialdom attempted radically to supress revolutionary ideology. As Walter had been in contact with suspected persons, he became embroiled in the so-called Jacobine case and underwent unpleasant interrogations by the police. Anton Walter had two stepsons, Donat and Joseph Schöfstoß, who also became piano makers. They initially worked together with Walter, though they later set up independently. Walter’s stepdaughter Rosina Katherina married the painter Jakob Friedrich Gauermann in 1803. In 1825 their son Friedrich painted a portrait of his step-grandfather, who at that time was 73 years old. (rh) Lit.: Rudolf Hopfner: Masterpieces from the Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. A Short Guide through the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Vol. 1, Vienna 2019
Friedrich August Mathias Gauermann (1807 Miesenbach bei Wiener Neustadt - 1862 Wien)
oil on canvas
690 mm x 620 mm x 55 mm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente
Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, 501
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