The Austrian painter, illustrator and printmaker Maximilian Kurzweil (1867-1916) started his artistic career traditionally, trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. While he remained affiliated with this institution through 1895, as of 1891 he spent much of his time in France; Paris in particular. He trained further at the Académie Julian, and in 1895 married a French woman, Marie-Josephine Marthe Guyot. Recognition started to come with a work exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1894. It is in 1896 however, as he became a member of the Wiener Künstlerhaus first, and then cofounded the Wiener Secession in 1897, that Kurzweil truly started to find his way. He was a contributor to Ver Sacrum, the famous Secession publication. His painting style was generally reminiscent of French Impressionism but over time it developed towards Art Nouveau. As a printmaker he is mostly known for his color woodcut, titled Der Polster. Kurzweil, who had been separated from his French wife during World War I, and had been in love with one of his student Helene Heger, ended his life, as did she, in 1916.
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