Anton Romako – one of the greatest Austrian painters

October 10th, 2014

According to info got by Austria Post has prepared for issuing a stamp commemorating a great painter Anton Romako and his works. The stamp depicts the portrait of Bildnis Isabella Reisser made by Romako. The issue is to be released on the 10th of October.

Anton Romako was an Austrian painter. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (1847–49) but his teacher, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, considered him talentless. Later, he studied in Munich (1849) under Wilhelm Kaulbach, and subsequently in Venice, Rome and London. In the early 1850s he studied privately in Vienna under Carl Rahl, whose style Romako adopted.

Romako painted a large number of landscape scenes (for example from the Bad Gastein), influenced by the Barbizon school, but is known mostly for his portraits and historical scenes. His early works display the influence of Biedermeier realism, while the late works are painted in a nervous expressionist style which disturbed his contemporaries. More than a decade passed before his works were reconsidered and appreciated.

One painting that particularly stood out was Romako's Portrait of Isabella Reisser, which is a fascinating painting. It appears very traditional, but instead of the soft focused face, with a demure closed lipped it is a real image of a woman, and as though there could actually be something going on inside this lady's mind. She's not made to look ugly, but neither is she made to look like an idealised version of a 'beauty'.