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Austrian painter Ernst Fuchs dies aged 85

Published 09/11/2015

Austrian artist Ernst Fuchs has died at the age of 85 (AP)
Austrian artist Ernst Fuchs has died at the age of 85 (AP)

Austrian painter Ernst Fuchs, whose works combined a love of colour with clear lines and religious themes, has died aged 85.

Tillmann Fuchs, the artist's son, said his father died on Monday but did not give any details about the cause of death.

Mr Fuchs was primarily known for his vivid paintings, but was also an internationally recognised sculptor, stage designer and print maker. He also composed music and wrote poetry.

He was a co-founder of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, which emphasised clarity and details as well as religious and esoteric symbolism.

Influenced in his early life by Gustav Klimt and his contemporaries, Fuchs' later work focused on texture as well as colour.

He revived the traditional mixed technique, using egg tempera to build volume, and glazing it with oil paints mixed with resin to create a sparkling effect.

By the early 1960s, his works reflected his interest in the symbolism of the alchemists and the creations of the mannerists, particularly Jacques Callot.

Mr Fuchs, who was baptised as a Catholic during the Nazi era to escape the Holocaust, increasingly focused on religious symbolism.

After entering the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem in 1957, he started on his Last Supper, among the most monumental of his paintings, as well as smaller religious-themed works.

Returning to Vienna in 1961, Mr Fuchs wrote on the art of painting and produced a series of prints.

By the mid-1970s he was a sought-after opera stage director and designer, working on productions of Mozart's Magic Flute and Wagner's Parsifal and Lohengrin.

Mr Fuchs' grandiose villa in an outlying Vienna district, which was designed by 19th-century Austrian architect Otto Wagner, was later turned into a museum displaying his works.

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