Biedermeier

   A term with multiple meanings in the cultural history of Austria and Germany, Gottlieb Biedermeier was a totally fictional schoolteacher, pious, dutiful, and placid, the satiric invention of a mid-19th-century Swabian humorist, Ludwig Eichrodt. Following the Revolutions of 1848, the word applied not only to the personalities of those like Mr. Biedermeier himself, but an entire civic culture between 1815 and 1848 in the Austrian Empire. The period is also called the Vormärz, or pre-March, because the revolutions in the Habsburg Empire first erupted in Vienna in that month. The Biedermeier outlook was associated with the middle classes of the time, who allegedly thought far more of personal comfort and private aesthetic satisfactions than of grand schemes for political and intellectual change. The intrusive censorship of the contemporary Habsburg government contributed much to this attitude. These ideals, however, also had a higher philosophical resonance, as shown in the writing of Adalbert Stifter.
   The locus of Biedermeier cultural life was the well-appointed bourgeois home or homelike setting, such as upscale coffeehouses or elaborate countryside picnics. For those of more modest means, there were suburban wine gardens (Heuriger) and dance locales. Indeed, the better-endowed members of society frequented these places, too. Landscape painters such as Ferdinand Waldmüller (1793–1865) and Rudolph von Alt (1812–1905), whose work drew heavily on the English painter Thomas Lawrence, fashioned exquisitely detailed but idealized pastoral scenes that diverted Vienna’s middle classes from changes that modern industrialization was already bringing to the landscape around them. Waldmüller and Friedrich von Amerling (1803–1887), among several notable painters, did miniatures for which the subjects as well as the patrons came from the bourgeois families of the day.
   The furniture styles of the era juxtaposed classically graceful lines and pronounced lines, which were often reinforced by bentwood components. Highly polished veneers, metal filigree ornamentation, and bright colors further heightened the sharp appearance of these products. The first luxury home furnishing store to be opened in Vienna, run by a designer of the period, Josef Ulrich Danhauser, featured such items, along with table, tea, and coffee services. Subsequent schools of Viennese art and design, most notably the Secession and the Wiener Werkstätte, consciously exploited many of these patterns. Biedermeier styles are still incorporated into contemporary Austrian interior decoration; original Biedermeier artifacts can be very valuable.
   Despite all that Habsburg officials did to suppress intellectual originality, the period 1815–1848 was a high point in Austrian music, literature, and art. The Society of the Friends of Music, founded in 1812 as a private organization by a group of music-lovers, continues to sponsor concerts of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The composer Franz Schubert and the playwrights Franz Grillparzer, Ferdinand Raimund, and Johann Nestroy, exasperated though they often were with their restrictive environment, worked brilliantly in it.
   See also Architecture; Metternich, Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Prince of.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • biedermeier — adj., s.n. Stil Biedermeier = stil de mobilier caracterizat prin forme simple, suprafeţe netede, lemn curbat, cu aspect general greoi, exprimând gustul pentru confort şi pentru viaţa intimă de familie. [pron. bi der má ier. / < Biedermeier –… …   Dicționar Român

  • Biedermeier — Sn (Stilbezeichnung) per. Wortschatz fach. (19. Jh.) Onomastische Bildung. Das Wort ist wie Kraftmeier, Stoffhuber usw. als sprechender Name gebildet, zunächst für einen fingierten Schulmeister (1853 von L. Eichrodt unter dem Pseudonym Rudolf… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • biedermeier — I {{/stl 13}}{{stl 33}}[wym. bidermajer]{{/stl 33}}{{stl 8}}rz. mnż I, D. u, Mc. biedermeiererze, blm a. ndm {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} styl w wyposażeniu wnętrz, meblarstwie, wykształcony w I połowie wieku XIX w niemieckiej kulturze mieszczańskiej,… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • Biedermeier — 1854, from German, from Gottlieb Biedermeier, name of a fictitious writer of stodgy poems (invented by Ludwig Eichrodt as a satire on bourgeois taste); the name generally applied to styles prevalent in Germany 1815 48; also conventional,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Biedermeier — [bē′dər mī΄ər] adj. [Ger, after ( Gottlieb) Biedermeier, fictitious author of stodgy poems published (1855 57, and later) by Adolf Kussmaul and Ludwig Eichrodt to satirize Ger bourgeois tastes] designating or of a style of German furniture design …   English World dictionary

  • Biedermeier — (Biedermaier), der Name einer komischen Figur, die in Gedichten von Eichrodt (zuerst in den »Fliegenden Blättern« veröffentlicht) vorkommt und seitdem als Typus eines geistig beschränkten und philisterhaften, aber gutmütigen und treuherzigen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Biedermeier — Biedermeier, s. Biedermaier …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Biedermeier — ● Biedermeier nom masculin (de Biedermann et Bummelmeier, noms propres) Nom donné au style de la peinture et des arts décoratifs s adressant aux classes moyennes, en Allemagne et en Autriche, dans les années 1815 1848 …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Biedermeier — La période Biedermeier s étend de 1815 (Congrès de Vienne) à 1848 (Révolution de Mars 1848) dans les États de la Confédération germanique et dans l Empire d Autriche. En politique, elle est liée à la Restauration allemande et au développement de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Biedermeier — Der Sonntagsspaziergang aus dem Jahre 1841 vom Maler Carl Spitzweg, ein typischer Vertreter der Biedermeier Epoche Als Biedermeier wird die Zeitspanne von 1815 (Wiener Kongress) bis 1848 (Beginn der bürgerlichen Revolution) in den Ländern des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Biedermeier — In Central Europe, Biedermeier refers to work in the fields of literature, music, the visual arts and interior design in the period between the years 1815 (Vienna Congress), the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and 1848, the year of the European… …   Wikipedia

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