Robert Skala – Beethoven House in Heiligenstadt – Circa 1900 - Winckelmann Gallery

Robert Skala – Beethoven House in Heiligenstadt – Circa 1900

Robert Skala was a well-known Austrian artist of the late 19th and first half of the 20th century. Born in Vienna on October 19, 1874, he died in the same city on August 25, 1945 at the age of 70. He excelled as a painter of cityscapes, genre scenes, landscapes and at drawing.

This painting depicts a house in Heiligenstadt (now a district of Vienna), where Ludwig van Beethoven spent the summer and autumn of 1802, sent “to the country” to rest his ears on the advice of his doctor (Schmidt). There he worked on his compositions, among others, Eroica Variations (Op. 35), the first notes of his Third Symphony (Eroica - Op. 55), and his Piano Sonata No. 17 (Op. 31 No. 2). Nevertheless, the most moving work composed by the musician in Heiligenstadt was a handwritten letter to his brothers, which has become a historical document, in which he expressed his despair at his deafness and the consequent need to isolate himself from Viennese society. Written in a time of deep moral crisis, this letter was never sent and was found in a secret drawer of Beethoven's wardrobe a few days after his death in March 1827. This house, once a country bakery, was converted into a museum dedicated to Beethoven in 2017.

Oil on canvas, apparently relined on a new stretcher around the 1970s, this work has a label on the verso with the artist’s name and the title of the work, and another two labels with the name, presumably, of a previous owner of the work, a certain Herr Dr. W. Brünner. 

Sources: Wikipedia; Wein Museum (Vienna).


Artist: Robert Skala (1874-1945).
Signed in the lower left corner.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very Good condition.
Dimensions: 45 x 36 cm. / 17 ¾ x 14 in.
Frame: 56 x 46 cm. / 22 x 18 in. Gilt wood, very good condition.
Origin: France.
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