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Biedermeier Period – A Touch Of German Bourgeoisie On Art Prints

Nowadays, Biedermeier’s reputation is a little tarnished. In fact, the term “Biedermeier” has always been something of a cliché. It’s viewed as a little dry, cute and harmless – all of which are associated with the German term “bieder”. And yet, the art of the time between the Congress of Vienna in 1815 and the beginnings of the March Revolution in 1848 has quite a few interesting aspects to offer. In terms of cultural history, Biedermeier resulted from the radical social and political changes throughout Europe after Napoleon’s defeat. Supported by an alliance between the conservative monarchs of Austria, Russia and Prussia, pre-Napoleonic conditions were supposed to be restored. In the course of the European Restoration, the Carlsbad Decrees were introduced in 1819 on German territory. This set of reactionary restrictions made political work almost impossible and imposed a strict censorship on art, music and literature. Thus, as a reaction to this development, Biedermeier is a very German phenomenon. Many authors and artists emigrated; they did not fit the desired concept of the loyal and upright petit bourgeois. Subsequently, from 1855 onwards the fictitious character of “Gottlieb Biedermeier” appeared in a number of satirical poems, which parodied the ideal of petit bourgeoisie. Ultimately, the term “Biedermeier” was meant as a joke. Used in a mildly mocking manner during the 19th century, the term later developed to describe a bourgeois culture focusing on cosy domesticity and private life in a neutral way. The online-shop on Posterlounge.co.uk offers a variety of remarkable images of the time as art prints or art posters.

From idyllic scenery to the confines of the study

Such images almost exclusively represent scenes from everyday life of the middle classes. Due to public censorship, historical, religious or political subjects remain absent from the art of this period. The dominant style of painting is realistic, if not entirely true to life. In exceedingly popular landscape paintings and portraits reality is usually romanticised, a little idealised and improved. Landscape paintings with great attention to detail on a high artistic level are among the range of products available as canvas prints or posters at Posterlounge.co.uk. Minute attention to detail is a prime feature of the period, particularly in the depiction of rooms, a specialty of Biedermeier painting. Such exact representations of middle-class living spaces made the artist Carl Spitzweg famous. His most celebrated work “The Poor Poet” shows a bleak garret with said poet writing in bed. Pictures of similar renown are “The Bookworm” in his impressively illuminated library and “Childhood Friends” accompanied by a dog and a pipe meeting in a garden. Spitzweg’s subjects seem like benign caricatures, their surroundings are minutely detailed and exact. Thus, his works exemplify the spirit of the Biedermeier period on art prints.

Cosy atmosphere with murals of the Biedermeier period

With their attention to detail and a tendency to idealise the reality of middle-class life, paintings from the Biedermeier period emanate certain cuteness from today’s perspective. Come into being during the pre-March era, Biedermeier art captures the calm between two revolutionary storms; it inheres nostalgic comfort. Hence, wall decorations featuring art prints and art posters in the idyllic retro style of the Biedermeier period create a particularly cosy atmosphere in rooms.