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Alfons Walde

Alfons Walde (8 February 1891 - 11 December 1958), was born in Oberndorf near Kitzbuehel, 1892 the family moved to Kitzbuehel because his father Franz Walde became headmaster at the primary school in Kitzbuehel.

From 1910 to 1914 Walde studied architecture at the Technische Hochshule in Vienna. At the same time he continued his education as a painter, In the Danubian metropolis he moved in artistic circles that included Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele

For his own characteristic style he used the mountainous motives around Kitzbuehel.

The last two years before the first World War he painted lots of small pictures from scenic landscapes with countrymen and townsmen on Sundays and Feastdays, after they have been to church. Also locals and guests at sporting activities.

“Bauernsonntag”, “Im Wirtshaus” or “Zieleinlauf” show the vitality and the common touch  of the area, which is completely different to the anticipating art in large towns .

After the first world war, he actively participated as  a Tyrolean Kaiserschütze in the high mountains, he decided not to finish his studies in Vienna, he returned to Kitzbuehel.

He devoted himself fully to painting, and the pictures from the early twenties show again his involvement with Klimt and Schiele. But soon Walde showed his own characteristic stile, one that gave expression to both the Kitzbuehel mountain scenery - particularly the living winter landscapes - and its robust people through the use of highly reduced drawings and pastel colouring. Throughout the rest of his artistic career his work stayed with the subject of his homeland, and retained the same distinct native style.

Alfons Walde was the first artist to successfully bring skiing as a subject into painting. He painted “Der Aufstieg” and “Gipfelrast am Pengelstein” using his own experiences.

These sporting scenes together with his winter landscapes and farming images, rendered in a unique tempera style with impastose colouring, complimented his other artistic gifts as both an architect and graphic artist –  ie. “Stadt im Tauschnee” or “Auracher Kirchl”..

The impressionistic, momentary feelings conjured up by Walde's paintings gave them a unique and characteristic place in international art history. This was reflected in the many exhibitions of his work, his entries to painting and architecture competitions, and the awards he received. Alfons Wade died on 11 December 1958 in Kitzbuehel.

After the 1930’s until his death in 1958  Alfons Walde worked mainly on architectural projects.

The old now altered base station of the Hahnenkammbahn and the Haus Walde on the Hahnenkamm was also planned by him..

Many of his paintings can be seen in the Museum gallery in  the old town of Kitzbuehel town.

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