Franz Defregger

Franz Defregger, a well-known painter and friend of Andreas Hofer, came from Dölsach in East Tyrol

Franz von Defregger was a very famous Austrian painter, not only in East Tyrol but also far beyond the borders. He was born on the 30th of April 1835 in Dölsach (East Tyrol) as the son of a farmers family. He decided very early to emigrate to America. But after a short time he had to realise that it did not work and returned to Europe, where he settled in Innsbruck. Here he studied with the sculptor and professor Michael Stolz at the industrial school of Innsbruck. Thus began his great career as a painter. He continued his journey and went to Munich, where he attended the painting class of Hermann Anschütz at the art academy. In 1878 he was appointed professor of history painting (until 1910) at the same academy. Franz von Defregger died on the 2nd of January, 1921 at the age of 85 in Munich, where he was buried in the family tomb.

Among his most famous works are "Der Zitherspieler" (1887), "Das Glockenspiel" (1890), "Vom Regen überrascht" (1891), "Der letzte Kuss" (1874) or "Heimkehr des Siegers" (1876) and many more. Very interesting are the works that show excerpts from the daily life of the farmers. Defregger himself came from rural backgrounds and this strongly influenced his artistic expression and motifs in his paintings. The best example is the painting "Sarntheiner Bauern" from 1913.

Moreover, Franz von Defregger also had a great significance for South Tyrol: he was very interested in the heroic deeds of the freedom fighter Andreas Hofer. So some of his paintings are exhibited in South Tyrol in the Museum of Local History in Bolzano. By the way: Franz Defregger was ennobled in 1883 and was awarded numerous prizes during his lifetime.

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