Franz Skarbina


Nature and Pose

An artist between realism and poetry

Franz Skarbina ca. 1900

Franz Skarbina ca. 1900

The artistic development of the young Franz Skarbina, born in Berlin in 1849, was decisively shaped by his intensive study trips to Belgium, Holland and France, for which he took leave from his teaching duties as professor of anatomy and proportion studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin for an entire year beginning in October 1885. “As Menzel says — just study nature, and exercise, and let yourself be influenced only indirectly by the artistic air in Brussels […],” wrote Skarbina to Felix Possart (1837-1928) from Dordrecht in 1884, giving his student advice that the latter held dear for the rest of his life. It was the “natural” life in unspoiled seaside towns, far removed from civilization, that attracted the city-dweller and became his repeated subject matter, despite his academic training.

Franz Skarbina is born on February 24 at Spittelmarkt 11 in Berlin as the son of a goldsmith from Agram (Zagreb)
1865 - 1869
Skarbina studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin
Tutor for the Countesses of Perponcher, first own studio at Prinzenstrasse 21
Study trip to northern Italy via Dresden and Vienna, return to Prussia via Munich
Assistant instructor of anatomical drawing at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, regular study trips
to Holland and Belgium, honorary member of the Société Royale Belge des Aquarellistes in Brussels
Prestigious studio at Leipziger Platz 3
Appointment as the department head for anatomical drawing at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, teacher of anatomy and the study of proportions at the the Royal Museum of Applied Arts, Skarbina deeply impressed visiting Paris
First participation in the Parisian Salon
Appointment as professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, further accolades
Participation in the Secessionists’ exhibition of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris
Co-founder of the Group of Eleven in Berlin (with Max Liebermann and Walter Leistikow)
Member of the Royal Academy of Arts, resignation from the academy after disagreements with
the director Anton von Werner, new studio at Königin-Augusta-Str. 41
On the advisory board of the new art journal Pan
Founding member of the Berlin Secession
Return to the Berlin Artists’ Association and participation in exhibitions at the Royal Academy
of Fine Arts, numerous public commissions and accolades
Franz Skarbina dies on May 18th in Berlin, large memorial exhibition from September until November in the Royal Academy of Arts
Exhibition and sale of his estate in Berlin