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Humorous Subject. Postcard of the Wiener Werkstätte, no. 148, 1908

Leopold Museum,
Leopold Museum,
Color lithograph on cardboard
14.1×9 cm


  • Wiener Werkstätte
  • Rudolf Kalvach

    (Vienna 1883–1932 Kosmonosy)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Rudolf Kalvach (1883–1932), who from 1900 to 1912 attended the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts together with Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980), achieved his artistic breakthrough in 1906: Following his participation in the group exhibition Die Jungen held at Galerie Miethke, Kalvach was able to sell three paintings and six woodcuts, and was subsequently commissioned by the Wiener Werkstätte to create designs for pictorial broadsheets and postcards. The motifs chosen by the artist alternate between bizarre animals and surreal-looking human figures. Using luminous primary colors against often dark backgrounds, Kalvach created a grotesque reality dripping with satire. With these works, the artist broke away from the prevalent Jugendstil, and pioneered an Expressionist manner of depiction. The 21 postcards designed by Kalvach could be bought at the Wiener Werkstätte’s salesroom situated on Graben, and made the artist known to a wider audience.

Object data

  • Execution: Wiener Werkstätte
  • Design: Rudolf Kalvach
Humorous Subject. Postcard of the Wiener Werkstätte, no. 148
Art movement
Wiener Werkstätte, Art Nouveau, Expressionism
Graphic work
Color lithograph on cardboard
14.1×9 cm
Monogrammed lower center: R.K.
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 6056
Inventory access
Accession 2016 2017
Selection of Reference works
  • Fantastisch! Rudolf Kalvach. Wien und Triest um 1900, hrsg. von Tobias G. Natter/Roberto Festi, Cinisello Balsamo 2012 (Ausst. Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 07.06.2012–10.09.2012).
Catalogue raisonne
  • Natter/Festi 2012: 3.25.1

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Galerie bei der Albertina - Zetter, Wien (2003);
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (2003-2010); (1)
Privatsammlung Leopold, Wien (2010-2017); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 2017)

  1. Galerie bei der Albertina - Zetter, Katalog zu “Die Wiener Werkstätte. Ein Gesamtkunstwerk. Verkaufsausstellung zum 100. Geburtstag”, Wien 2003, S. 84
  2. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Kaufvertrag und Rechnung vom 30.03.2017

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