(b. 1812, Wien, d. 1865, Wien)
Carl Rahl was an Austrian painter, the son of Carl Heinrich Rahl (1779-1843), an engraver. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and won a prize at the age of 19. From there he traveled to Munich, Stuttgart, Hungary, and in 1836 to Italy. He remained in Italy from 1836 to 1843, where he in particular studied representatives of the Venetian and Roman schools of art.
Rahl's style, especially his views on colour and perspective, were largely formed during his years in Rome. He returned after 1843 to Vienna for two years, and then led an itinerant life for the next five years, traveling through Holstein, Paris, Rome, Copenhagen, and Munich, making a living as a portrait painter.
In 1850, he was appointed professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, but for political reasons he was soon dismissed from the position. He then opened a private art school, which expanded quickly into a studio that produced monumental-scale paintings and enjoyed considerable success. He was commissioned by Greek philanthropist Simon Sinas to paint a number of works for the façade and vestibule of Vienna's Fleischmarkt Greek Church. In addition, Sinas commissioned four paintings depicting heroes of the Greek War of Independence, and a further four paintings to decorate his residence.
Rahl decorated the Heinrichshof in 1861 with personifications of Art, Friendship, and Culture, and the Palais Todesco with representations from the mythology of Paris. In 1864, he painted a number of allegorical figures in the stairway of the Waffenmuseum (now part of the Kunsthistorisches Museum). In this period he also painted several frescoes: Mädchen aus der Fremde (in a villa of Gmunden), a composition for a ballroom of a palace in Oldenburg, and a cycle from the tale of the Argonauts.
In his later years he painted scenic backdrops for the New Opera (Neue Oper), which were continued after his death by his pupils.