Romantic painters' view
Anton Reiffenstuhl (1786-1848), Blick auf Salzburg von Aigen mit der Kanzel im Aigner Park, Öl auf Kupfer, 1833Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern
“World landscape”
Johann Fischbach (1797-1871), Blick auf Salzburg, Öl auf Holz, um 1850Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Medieval romanticism
Domenico Quaglio (1787-1837), Nonnberg und Hohensalzburg, Öl auf Holz, 1819Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Mountain Scenery
Anton Reiffenstuhl (1786-1848), Lender Wasserfall ,Öl auf Leinwand, um 1830Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern

Salzburg - Alpine Arcadia


In the early nineteenth century, Napoleon, Emperor of France, embroiled the whole of Europe in a state of war. Salzburg was also massively affected by political and economic depression. During this phase, painters and writers came to Salzburg from Vienna, Munich and other German provincial states, exalting in pictures and words the region around Salzburg.

The cultural landscape with its backdrop of high-altitude mountains harmonised ideally with their quasi-pantheistic ideas of a new paradisiacal unity of nature and civilisation. The artists portrayed the Salzburg region as a Garden of Eden, an alpine Arcadia. Their idealising vision screened the real living conditions of the rural and urban populations. However, artists opened the eyes of all beholders to the beauties of the mountainous regions around Salzburg and not least to the city of Salzburg itself.

Within a few years, they established a name for Salzburg as one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world - a myth that has retained its unbroken magic until today. 


“World Landscape”

In the region around Salzburg, the artists of the Romantic movement see the harmonious unity of an ideal world landscape: the wild mountain ranges, the plains with delightful meadows and far-reaching forests, intersected by the meandering ribbon of the Salzach, in the background the medieval castle. What landscape could be more beautiful?


Medieval Romanticism

Many an artist of the early nineteenth century only had eyes for vestiges of the Middle Ages in the city, an adulation that had its source in national and religious feelings. The mystical aura of Hohensalzburg Castle, St Peter’s graveyard and the Nonnberg convent placed them among the most popular motifs. Anything baroque was screened out.


Mountain Scenery

Romantic painters also find their motifs in the mountainous regions surrounding Salzburg, which were practically inaccessible at the time: ice-capped mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls, idyllic farms. Nature is depicted in all its manifold charms, together with the idealised picture of an industrious rural population happily at work in the pastoral landscape.

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