Ludwig Minnigerode

Ludwig Minnigerode
© Künstlerhaus-Archiv, Wien

Ludwig Minnigerode: A fairy tale, in: Dorotheum (Hg.): Gemälde und Aquarelle Wiener, deutscher und belgischer Meister des 19. Jahrhunderts. Gemälde alter Meister, Miniaturen, Graphik, Tapisserien, wertvolle Teppiche, Kunstmobiliar, Gold- und Silberarbeiten, Waffen, Spitzen, Nummer 382, Aukt.-Kat., Vienna 1927.
© Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Ludwig Minnigerode was professor for “figure drawing” at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts of the Imperial-Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry. In 1878, he was appointed head of the preparatory school. In the school year 1877/78, Gustav Klimt verifiably attended his class.

The genre and portrait painter Ludwig Minnigerode was born in 1847 in the town of Styrj in Eastern Galicia (now: Ukraine). He studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts under the history painter Eduard Engerth. According to the German art journal Die Dioskuren, he received a recognition award given out by the Academy in 1867 for a “drawing of a whole figure after a natural model.” In 1874, he and some of his fellow students, including the painter Julius Victor Berger – who would later also teach Gustav Klimt – created a series of portraits of rulers. These were commissioned by Crown Prince Rudolf from the special school for history painting for his future apartments in the Vienna Hofburg. Moreover, Ludwig Minnigerode verifiably participated in several exhibitions of the Österreichischer Kunst-Verein since his student days.
Teaching Activities at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts
Ludwig Minnigerode was first mentioned as part of the teaching staff of the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts in 1876 in the annual report of the Imperial-Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry (now: MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna):

“Seeing as it has become impossible for Professors Laufberger and Rieser to handle such large numbers of students alone, they will now be assisted by Ludwig Minnigerode and Hugo Ströhl […]”

Already the following year, the painter – along with other lecturers at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, including the draftsman Karl Hrachowina and the architect Alois Hauser – was made professor. Additionally, Ludwig Minnigerode took over as head of the preparatory school where he taught “figure drawing.”
In the school year 1877/78, his course was attended by Gustav Klimt. In 1878, Klimt created his famous head study of the “Brunn Head,” which survived in Ludwig Minnigerode’s estate, as part of this class. An important source of information in this context is Klimt’s report for the preparatory school, kept today in the archives of the Vienna University of Applied Arts. For the subject “figure drawing,” Minnigerode awarded his student the two top grades “very diligent” and “excellent.”
Further Career
In 1893 – marking the 25-year anniversary of the foundation of the Imperial-Royal Austrian Museum of Art and Industry – Emperor Franz Joseph I honored the pedagogue with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Franz Joseph. Several years later, the artist retired. Source material on his life after his retirement is scarce. He died in September 1930 in the city of Salzburg.  

Literature and sources

  • Salzburger Volksblatt: unabh. Tageszeitung f. Stadt u. Land Salzburg, 25.09.1930, S. 7.
  • Mittheilungen des k. k. Österreichischen Museums für Kunst und Industrie. Monatsschrift für Kunst und Gewerbe, 13. Jg., Heft 153 (1878), S. 115-116.
  • k. k. Österreichisches Museum für Kunst und Industrie (Hg.): Jahresbericht des k. k. Österreichischen Museums für Kunst und Industrie für 1876, Vienna 1876, S. 10.
  • Hans Vollmer (Hg.): Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. Begründet von Ulrich Thieme und Felix Becker, Band XXIV, Leipzig 1930, S. 580.
  • Das Vaterland. Zeitung für die österreichische Monarchie, 09.10.1893, S. 3.
  • Troppauer Zeitung, 30.05.1874, S. 2.
  • Neue Freie Presse, 01.06.1878, S. 17.
  • Die Dioskuren. Deutsche Kunstzeitung. Hauptorgan der Deutschen Kunstvereine, 12. Jg., Nummer 31 (1867), S. 247.
  • Kunstchronik. Wochenschrift für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe, 9. Jg., Heft 44 (1874), Spalte 711.
  • Österreichischer Kunstverein (Hg.): 208. Ausstellung. Oesterreichischer Kunst-Verein in Wien, Ausst.-Kat., Austrian Art Association in Vienna (Vienna), 00.12.1869, Vienna 1869, S. 2.
  • Alice Strobl (Hg.): Gustav Klimt. Die Zeichnungen, Band I, 1878–1903, Salzburg 1980, S. 20.
  • Otmar Rychlik (Hg.): Gustav Klimts Lehrer. 1876-1882. Sieben Jahre an der Kunstgewerbeschule, Ausst.-Kat., MAK - Museum of Applied Arts (Vienna), 03.11.2021–13.03.2022, Bad Vöslau 2021.