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Von Wörndle Family

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Philip von Wörndle

Of Adelsfried and Weierburg, major of a Tyrolese rifle-corps, commandant in the militia reserve, b. at Hotting-Innsbruck, 9 July, 1755; d. at Linz, Austria, 2 August, 1818. He belonged to an old noble family of the Tyrol and was the son of Joseph Anthony Wörndle, justice of the peace of Sonnenburg, who was reinstated in the nobility in 1763 by Empress Maria Theresa as a reward for his military and patriotic services. Philip von Wörndle received the degree of Doctor of Law at the University of Innsbruck in 1779. At first he was judge of the manor court of the Premonstratensian Abbey of Wilten, then became an advocate. In 1787 he married Elisabeth von Lemmen, by whom he had seven children; in 1800 he married a second wife, Johanna von Lemmen. In 1796 he was the captain of the company raised among those connected with the university which served in the campaign against Lecourbe on the boundary of the Tyrol towards Switzerland and also at Lake Garda. In 1797 he was commander of the reserve of northern Tyrol under General Kerpen in the campaign against Joubert, and as such shared in the victorious but bloody encounter at Springes in which the Tyrolese took part (2 April, 1797). In 1800 he was district military commissioner under Generals Hiller and Jallachich for the upper valley of the Inn. In 1809, under Andreas Hofer, he was Tyrolese under-commissary and head of the national defence for the valley of the Puster. In return for his services he received the Tyrolese commemorative medal and the gold imperial medal. On account of the occupation of the province in 1810 he emigrated to Austria ; in 1811 he was a member of the district council at Linz in upper Austria. In 1813 he accompanied, as provincial commissioner, the imperial troops under General Ismer on the campaign for the liberation of southern Tyrol from the French. On account of accusations lodged against him by commissary Roschmann, Wörndle remained in exile from his native country and died in Upper Austria.

Edmund von Wörndle

Grandson of the preceding and son of Johann von Wörndle, clerk of the works for the imperial palace at Vienna, b. 28 July, 1827; d. 3 August, 1906. After attending the high-school at Schossen Abbey, he entered the academy of fine arts at Vienna. In 1846 he began the study of landscape painting at the art-school under Professors Thomas Euder and Franz Steinfeld and continued under them until 1853, frequently receiving academic prizes. At the same time he also attended Führich's lectures on composition and the theory of style; from this sprang his firm adherence, like that of Joseph Anton Koch, to "historic landscape". In 1855 he went on a journey for study to Egypt and Palestine: this was followed by a residence for two years with an imperial pension in Rome and Italy. While in Italy he made large chalk cartoons from his sketches in the Holy Land; these were bought by the picture gallery of the city of Hamburg, while a few of his sketches were finished as oil paintings which were bought by Emperor Francis Joseph I, Cardinal Simor-Grau, the papal nuncio Viale Prela, and others. Some of the cartoons were engraved by the artist on copper; in 1904 the cartoons were published at Munich as chromos. From 1858 he lived at Castle Weierburg, and from 1864 at Muhlau near Innsbruck; from 1874 his permanent residence was at Innsbruck. He produced large numbers of easel pictures and others containing large figures, as: "Christ at Jacob's Well", owned by the Grand Duke of Weimar; "Samson as the Lion-Killer", in the Ferdinandeum at Innsbruck; "Hunting-Scenes" owned by Emperor Francis Joseph. In 1877 he painted a series of Tyrolean landscapes for the city savings-bank of Innsbruck; he also painted decorative historical wall-pictures of scenes in the Tyrolese war of liberation in the Hofer-room at Innsbruck, as well as others for the Heart of Jesus chapel completed by his efforts in 1899, in the Hofer-house called "Sand in Passeier", and landscapes for the corridor of the Kurhaus at Meran. He showed himself to be particularly representative of the Romantic School in the great series of "Parzival" paintings, in which his brother August had some share, which he was commissioned by the Austrian minister of worship and education to execute for the episcopal seminary for boys called the Vinzentinum at Brixen, and which were based on thorough preparatory study of Wolfram von Eschenbach. Lithographic copies of this series have been published at Vienna. A second series of paintings, "Walter von der Vogelweide", in the Ferdinandeum at Innsbruck, was published by himself in lithograph in 1894. He was the founder and honorary president of the "Society of Ecclesiastical Art of the Tyrol", for many years a member of the board of directors of the art association of the Tyrol, honorary member of the Veterans' Union of Innsbruck, and in 1904 was made a knight of the Francis Joseph Order. In 1858 he married Sophie von Attlmayr (d. 1898), by whom he had three sons, Hermann, Heinrich, and Wilhelm.

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August von Wörndle

Brother of Edmund and son of Johann, b. 22 June, 1829; d. at Vienna, 26 April, 1902. He attended first the school of design of Professor Klieber, then in 1844 the preparatory school of the academy of fine arts, the lectures of Professor Joseph von Führich, and from 1849 Führich's classes for advanced pupils. Later he became Führich's son-in-law. Through the St. Severinus Artists' Association August sold his first easel picture, "The Little Daughter of Jairus", to Empress Caroline Augusta, his "Three Magi " to the imperial picture-gallery at Vienna. In 1853 he went to Venice and Florence, in 1854 to Rome, where he studied under Cornelius and Overbeck and where he remained until 1859. While at Rome he painted numerous religious-historical pictures, collaborated on the cartoons executed by Cornelius for the Campo Santo at Berlin, painted a portrait of Pope Pius IX for Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, and made a copy of Raphael's "Coronation of the Virgin" for the chapel in the house of the Prince Archbishop Cardinal Rauscher in Vienna. After his return to the Tyrol he worked (1861-1868) at Weierburg and Muhlau with his brother on the frescoes of the "Stations of the Cross" for the cemetery of Innsbruck and frescoes for the parish church at Worgl. Under commission of the Archduke Karl Ludwig, Governor of the Tyrol, he painted the frescoes in the chapel of the castle of Ambras. He now settled at Vienna, where in 1868 he produced paintings for the new cathedral of the Virgin, and for the Jesuit college on the Freienberg at Linz. In 1869, at the order of the emperor, he executed a large oil painting, "The Liberation of Vienna from the Turks "; he also in this period painted altar-pictures for Vienna and Styria, and paintings of the stations of the Cross that were sent to Bohemia and Moravia. In 1872 he was appointed teacher of freehand drawing in the Maria Theresa academy for young noblemen at Vienna, a position he held until 1898. While here he executed a number of altar paintings that went particularly to Bohemia. In 1874 he painted frescoes in the cathedral of Salzberg, in 1875-76 he prepared the cartoons for the frescoes in mosaic of the newly erected Votive Church at Vienna, and the easel picture, "Battle of Springes", for the Ferdinandeum at Innsbruck; in 1882 he executed the fresco-painting in the presbytery of the parish church of Isehl, a work for which he was commissioned by the emperor; also compositions for "Parzival" and for Weber's "Dreizehnlinder" (Thirteen Linden Trees). He was also the private teacher of the Archdukes Francis Ferdinand and Otto. The last work he did was the entire fresco ornamentation of the Church of St. Anastasius at Vienna in 1900-01; in recognition of this work he received the cross of the Knights of the Order of Francis Joseph. He was a member of the Austrian commission for historical and artistic remains and of the section for art of the Austrian Leo Association. He married in 1872 Anna von Führich (d. 1909); he had one son, Joseph (d. 1880), and a daughter Paula, now Mother Felicitas, of the Ursuline Nuns at Innsbruck. August von Wörndle is buried at Innsbruck.

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