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Portrait of Captain Karl Boleslavski, 1916

Leopold Museum,
Oil on canvas
56.7×43.7 cm


  • Anton Kolig

    (Neutitschein/Nový Jičín 1886–1950 Nötsch im Gailtal)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Captain Karl Boleslavski is shown looking at a point outside of the depiction with a serious, strict and expectant expression. Drawing back slightly, his posture reveals both distance and apprehension. The young Expressionist Anton Kolig (1886–1950), who during World War I served as a war artist on the frontline, rendered the officer, wearing a blue-green uniform and cap, in front of a background made up of scumbled layers of various shades of green. The deliberately lighter areas surrounding the figure invest it with an immediate presence. What is particularly striking is the contrast between the depicted’s detailed physiognomy and the fluid background, painted in a liberal, sketch-like manner. This may be due to the work’s quick creation during few sittings. Along with his task of documenting battle stations in the field, portraying officers and soldiers afforded Kolig an agreeable additional occupation during the war years.

Object data

Portrait of Captain Karl Boleslavski
Art movement
Oil on canvas
56.7×43.7 cm
Signed and dated lower right: Kolig 1916
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 171
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Anton Kolig, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Köln 2017 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 22.09.2017-08.01.2018).
  • Otmar Rychlik: Anton Kolig 1886-1950. Das malerische Werk, Wien 2001.

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Privatbesitz Mährisch-Ostrau (1925-1948); (1)
Galerie Würthle, Wien (o.D.); (2)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1981-1994); (3)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 1994).

  1. Richard von Schaukal, Anton Kolig, in: Der Cicerone 6, 1925, S. 309; Friedrich Welz, Anton Kolig, Salzburg 1948: Werkverzeichnis, Nr. 51
  2. Beschriftung am Keilrahmen: „17966 Würthle“
  3. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Schreiben der Kärntner Landesgalerie an Dr. Rudolf Leopold vom 04.03.1981

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