Born in Vienna in 1883, Franz von Zülow is an Austrian painter and graphic artist. As a member of the Vienna Secession and the Wiener Werkstätte, he is artistically versatile. His work covers prints, paintings, picture books, lithographic cycles, fabrics, furniture and other furnishings. However, his main focus is on the area of print graphics. His experiments with this technique result in the invention of a new printing method. His themes mostly include landscapes, religion and peasant life. He is honorary member of the Vienna Secession and receives six times the Austrian State Prize.
Franz von Zülow was born on 15 March 1883 in Vienna. On his father’s side he was from a noble family from Mecklenburg and his mother was a wine-grower’s daughter. Zülow’s artistic training began in 1901/02 at the College of Graphic Art (Grafische Lehr– und Versuchsanstalt) where he was taught by Joseph Eugen Horwarter and Hubert Landa. He then became a guest student at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna and was in the class of Christian Griepenkerl. From 1903-06 he was a student at the Vienna College of Applied Art with Felician von Myrbach and Carl Czeschka. Oskar Kokoschka was a colleague of his at the College of Applied Art. In 1907 he was awarded a patent for stencil-printing, which he had developed. Around 1908 he had links with the ‘Klimt Group’. He also participated in the art exhibition called the Kunstschau in 1908. In 1910 Zülow created his first paintings using paste. Two years later, in 1912, he was awarded the Prince Liechtenstein travel bursary and travelled to Germany, France, England and Holland. In 1915 Zülow was called up for military service and was stationed in Hungary, Albania and Italy. After returning from captivity in Italy in 1919, he worked at the Wiener Werkstätte. He created material designs, wallpapers and calendar illustrations. In 1920-22 he was a teacher at the ceramic workshops in Gmunden. In 1922 Zülow married and moved into his studio in the Porzellangasse in Vienna. Three years later, in 1925, he was awarded a gold medal at an applied art exhibition in Paris. He was also presented with the Austrian banknote prize. Zülow embarked on two study trips to Italy where he painted his first oil paintings (landscapes, still lifes, figure pictures). In 1928 the artist was awarded the Austrian State Prize and the following year he travelled as far as north Africa. He created his first commissioned works and acquired a house in Hirschbach, Upper Austria. Zülow was an extremely versatile artist and created oil paintings, frescos, tapestries, crib figures, altar paintings, vases, display plates and designs for crockery for public and private patrons. In 1931 he was awarded the Julius Reich Foundation prize. From 1933-39 he was a member of the Vienna Secession. In 1943/44 he was banned from painting. From 1949 Zülow taught at the Art College in Linz. A year later he was given the title of honorary professor and became an honorary member and president of the Mühlviertel artist’s guild. In 1958 he was made honorary member of the Vienna Secession. Zülow died on 26 February 1963 in Vienna, just before the end of his eightieth year.