August Schaeffer (Attr.) (Vienna, 1833 – 1916)
Bay of Naples with Vesuvius
Material: Oil on canvas, maroufl. on cardboard
Dimension: 29,5 x 40,5 cm
About the Artist:
August Schaeffer was the son of the surgeon Karl Schaeffer and his wife Josefa Elisabeth Scheibenbogen. He was born in the then Viennese suburb of Mariahilf, Windmühle 66 (today Fillgradergasse 2). His sister Josefina Magdalena was later married to the painter Ludwig Halauska, another sister to the painter Karl Borromäus Post.
In the years from 1852 to 1856 Schaeffer studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts under the landscape painter Franz Steinfeld. From 1857 he undertook extensive study trips through southern and western Europe, especially to the North Sea, Hungary and the Alps. In 1871-74 he was scriptor at the library and in 1874-80 curator of the gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. In 1881-92 Schaeffer was then curator and in 1892-1910 director of the Picture Gallery of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. In this capacity he established the museum as a scientific institution and institutionalized conservation aspects.
August Schaeffer was a member of the artists’ association Eintracht and from 1861 of the Künstlerhaus, 1884-86 board member and from 1913 honorary member of this institution, for which he also wrote a chronicle 50 Jahre Genossenschaft der bildenden Künstler Künstlerhaus. 1889-1916 he was a committee member of the Alterthums-Verein. In 1911 (diploma November 6, 1912) he was raised to the peerage and since then was called August Schaeffer Edler von Wienwald. In 1915 he became a court councillor. Schaeffer wrote a number of writings on art history and on the institutions for which he worked.
In his first marriage he was married to the opera singer Emilie Hoffmann (1835-1889) from 1862 to 1889, after her death in his second marriage from 1905 to 1916 to Auguste Wahrmund. He was buried in the Nussdorf parish cemetery.