Sunday, August 24, 2014

Carl Moll

Winter In Preibach
oil on canvas
private collection

Carl Julius Rudolf Moll (1861-1945), born in Vienna, Austria, was a prominent art nouveau painter active in Vienna at the start of the 20th century. He was a founder-member of the Vienna Secession in 1897 and, in 1903 encouraged the use of the Belvedere Gallery to show exhibitions of modern Austrian art. In 1905 he, along with Gustav Klimt, left the Secession, although he continued to be involved with the exhibition of art in Vienna including the first exhibition in Vienna of the work of Vincent van Gogh. He was active in helping the young painters Oskar Kokoschka and Anton Kolig.

He studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, but had to abandon his course because of ill-health. Subsequently, he studied privately with the Austrian painter Emil Jakob Schindler, and in 1895 he married Schindler's widow and became the stepfather of her daughter, later Alma Mahler, the wife of the composer Gustav Mahler.

His own daughter, and Alma Mahler's much younger half-sister, and her Nazi husband, the vice president of the Nazi law court in Vienna from 1938 to 1945, converted him to support of Nazism after Hitler's takeover of power in Germany. In a letter to Alma Mahler, he praised Hitler as ''the greatest organizer.'' He committed suicide at the end of World War II, in Vienna.