FISCHER, Josef Vinzenz
(b. 1729, Schmidham bei Griesbach, d. 1810, Wien)


Austrian painter. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna in 1749 and 1765. After travelling to Italy in 1753 to study, he worked briefly in Bavaria, then settled permanently in Vienna. He painted a series of frescoes and altarpieces in Austria, Hungary, Moravia and Bohemia, but also worked as a painter of historical subjects, painting small mythological and allegorical works. Among the most important frescoes for which he was solely responsible is the ceiling painting, in the temple of Diana at Schloss Laxenburg, of Agamemnon Hunting (1763; preparatory sketch, Vienna, Belvedere).

Fischer was often employed in a specialist capacity to paint architectural elements, including the architectonic framework for frescoes by Franz Anton Maulbertsch in the Kammerkapelle at the Hofburg in Vienna, and in the summer refectory at the monastery at Louka (now Czech Republic). In 1760 he became a member of the Akademie in Vienna and in 1764 was appointed professor of architecture, optics and perspective. He contributed to the series of pictures depicting famous events supervised by Martin Mijtens I, painting the architectural parts of the large ceremonial paintings such as Coronation of Joseph II as Emperor (Vienna, Schloss Schönbrunn). In his small landscape and architectural paintings, which depicted scenes from Greek and Roman history, and in such late altarpieces as St Stephen (1778; Oradea, Romania, cathedral), he increasingly adopted a classicising style, attempting to combine late Baroque compositions with a refined linear style.