Georg Merkel 1881-1976


Georg Merkel was born in 1881 in Lemberg (then Habsburg Monarchy, nowadays the city Lwiw in the Western Ukraine) in poor conditions. First he worked as a painter of decorations, with the help of a friend he studied between 1903 and 1905 at the Academy in Krakow. From 1905 until 1908 and from 1909 until 1914 he lived in Paris, devoting himself to the French Classicism and to Paul Cezanne. As a soldier of the Austrian Army in the First World War Merkel was injured on the head and went blind. Of course the recovery of his eyesight was very important for him and defining for his art. Between the First and the Second World War Merkel lived in Vienna and was a member of the artist’s association Hagenbund. He had also contact to the painter’s colony in Zinkenbach in Salzburg. In 1938 his art was defamed as “degenerated” by the Nazi Regime and so he emigrated to France. Merkel was interned in Southern France, then lived in Montauban. Since 1945 Merkel was a member of the Viennese Secession and in 1961 the received the prize of the City Vienna. Only in 1972 he came back to Vienna.

Georg Merkel was married with the painter Louise Merkel-Romeé (1888–1977. We know about his acquaintance with Elias Canetti, who mentioned Merkel in the 3rd part of his diaries titled “Das Augenspiel” in 1985.

Georg Merkel died in 1976 in Vienna.


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