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Portrait of Glassware Manufacturer

Portrait of Glassware Manufacturer Ludwig Lobmeyr, Ferdinand Schmutzer (Venetian 1870-1928), no date, etching, 0000.99.468.

Born into a celebrated family of artists from Vienna, Austria, Ferdinand Schmutzer originally concentrated in sculpting before turning to etching. He received instruction from a renowned artist and teacher, William Unger, whom Schmutzer would later succeed as Chief of the Special School for Graphic Arts at the Vienna Academy. He depicted a wide range of subject matter, anything from landscapes to book illustrations to portraits.

Seen here is Ludwig Lobmeyr, who led the Venetian glass company, J. and L. Lobmeyr beginning in 1864; he is known for reviving Bohemian glass engraving, beginning with the 1867 Paris International Exhibition and later at the 1873 Vienna International Exhibition. Upon seeing some of Schmutzer’s works in an exhibition in 1936, Elisabeth Luther Cary of the New York Times wrote: “… the etcher’s intense interest in the character of his subject and his obvious desire to re-create it for us not merely in its exterior aspect but with all its visible implications of a personality at work in each living creature described by his indefatigable needle.”

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