Hans Figura
Hans Figura
Hans Figura (Austrian, 1898-1978) noted painter and etcher who was well known for his aquatint etchings on paper or satin of European and American landscape and cityscape scenes, as well as paintings of landscape & cityscape scenes, Tyrolean Alp scenes of villages & chalets, street scenes, harbor & marine scenes etc.

Figura was born January 22, 1898, in the small town of Nagy-Kikinda near the Austro-Hungarian border, to Austrian parents. His father was a railway official and he spent his childhood in various small villages along the railway line between Vienna and Hungary. He graduated from the highschool in Vienna and also studied at the Higher Graphical Federal Education and Research Institute, a vocational school there (Höhere Graphische Bundes-Lehr und Versuchsanstalt).

As a young man, he served as an officer in the Austrian Army during WWI from 1916-18 on the Russian and Italian fronts. After the war he attended medical school at the University of Vienna for several years beginning in 1918, and seven semesters later, he passed his first state exam, but eventually decided that he preferred the arts to medicine. He also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien) and by 1922 he had devoted himself to painting and etching, while also working in other artistic printing mediums, batik, illustration, bookbinding and working with leather.

From 1923-28, Figura made numerous art study trips throughout Europe including; Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, England, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. His first major success came in 1924, when he won acclaim for his etchings exhibited in Italy and the United States. In 1929, he visited the United States and in 1930, he traveled back to France, Holland and also Switzerland. During this time, Figura maintained studios in both New York City and Vienna, Austria. Throughout the course of his career, he exhibited his paintings & prints in many of the large cities throughout Europe and the United States and many of his etchings and paintings were acquired by museums and galleries, including; The Kulturamt, Vienna, Austria, the Landesmuseum of Lower Austria, as well as The Society of Art Lovers, Berlin and Munich. Several articles and many of his works were featured in magazines and publications including; The Studio, London (1927), and the international art magazine Apollo, to name only a few.

Select Exhibitions:

1924- Exhibitions in Italy and the United States.

Circa Mid 1920's-1939- All the exhibitions at the Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, Austria.

1926- "Secession", Vienna, Austria.

1927- Bromhead Art Gallery, London, England.

1930- "Alpine Kunst-Ausstellung", Budpest, Hungary.

1939- "Mountains and Peoples of Austria", Vienna, Austria.

1977- Villach, Austria.

During WWII, he served as an artillery officer, and his studio in Vienna was subsequently destroyed which temporarily curtailed his artistic career. After the war he briefly settled in the alpine town of Villach, Austria. Hans eventually spent the rest of his life in Vienna, Austria and he died on his 80th birthday on February 17, 1978.

Walter Meibohm worked with Mr. Figura personally post WWII and maintained a friendship with him until his death in 1978, as well as with this estate afterwards.

Aquatinting, like etching is an acid based process, and is quite complex. It uses acid-resistant Bitumen dust instead of wax, which is laid on the plate and then heated causing the dust to adhere to the plate. It is then immersed in acid which eats away the copper around the dust grains, creating a thin web of lines. The technique imitates different tone levels, much like water color washes. Different lengths of time in the acid bath produce a variety of tonal shading. It can produce subtle color tones and at other times with brilliant results.

For possible additional information or other images from this artist, please visit the AskArt link

(Written by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., East Aurora, NY, meibohmfinearts.com, from sources: Our internal records; Brief biographical information online from eBay.com; De.Wikipedia; artoftheprint.com, brief biographical information; Brief biographical information from backs of old paintings.)