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Encyclopedia > Biedermeier

In Central Europe, Biedermeier refers to work in the fields of literature, music, the visual arts and interior design in the period between the years 1815 (Vienna Congress), the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and 1848, the year of the European revolutions and contrasts with the Romantic era which preceded it. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3216x2136, 2698 KB) Biedermaier architecture, selfmade photo, Aug 5 2005, File links The following pages link to this file: Biedermeier ... Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... The Battle of New Orleans 1815 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... The Congress of Vienna (October 1, 1814 - June 9, 1815) was a conference between ambassadors from the major powers in Europe that was chaired by the Austrian statesman Klemens Wenzel von Metternich and held in Vienna, Austria. ... Combatants Allies: Austria[1] Ottoman Empire Portugal Prussia[1] Russia[2] Spain[3] Sweden United Kingdom[4] French Empire Denmark-Norway Holland Kingdom of Italy Kingdom of Naples Duchy of Warsaw Confederation of the Rhine: Bavaria Saxony Commanders Mikhail Kutuzov, Michael Andreas Barclay Count Wittgenstein Count Bennigsen Duke of Wellington... 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ...


Literature and music

The term Biedermeier comes from the pseudonym Gottlieb Biedermaier, used by the country doctor Adolf Kussmaul and the lawyer Ludwig Eichrodt in poems, printed in the Munich Fliegenden Blättern (Flying Sheets), parodying the poems of the Biedermeier era as depoliticized and petit-bourgeois. The name was constructed from the titles of two poems (Biedermanns Abendgemütlichkeit (Biedermann's Evening Cosiness) and Bummelmaiers Klage (Bummelmaier's Complaint)) that Joseph Victor von Scheffel had published in 1848 in the same magazine. As a label for the epoch, the term has been used since around 1900. Adolph Kussmaul (1822 - 1902) was a German physician. ... Ludwig Eichrodt (February 2, 1827, Durlach bei Karlsruhe - February 2, 1892, Lahr) was a German writer. ... Munich: Frauenkirche and Town Hall steeple Munich: St. ... Petit-bourgeois or Anglicised petty bourgeois is a French term that originally referred to the members of the lower middle social-classes in the 18th and early 19th centuries. ... Joseph Viktor von Scheffel (February 16, 1826 - April 9, 1886), German poet and novelist, was born at Karlsruhe. ...

Typical Biedermeier poets are Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Adelbert von Chamisso, Eduard Mörike, and Wilhelm Müller, the last two of which have well-known musical settings by Hugo Wolf and Franz Schubert respectively. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff on the Twenty Deutsche Mark banknote House of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff in Meersburg (Germany). ... Adelbert von Chamisso (January 30, 1781 – August 21, 1838), was a German poet and botanist. ... Eduard Friedrich Mörike (Ludwigsburg, September 8, 1804 – June 4, 1875 in Stuttgart) was a German romantic poet. ... Wilhelm Müller (October 7, 1794 - September 30, 1827), German lyric poet, was born at Dessau, the son of a shoemaker. ... Photograph of Hugo Wolf Hugo Wolf (March 13, 1860 – February 22, 1903) was an Austrian composer of Slovene origin, particularly noted for his art songs, or Lieder. ... Franz Peter Schubert (January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer considered to be both the last master of the Viennese Classical school and one of the earliest proponents of musical Romanticism. ...

Biedermeier can be identified with two trends in early nineteenth-century German history.

The first trend is growing urbanization and industrialization leading to a new urban middle class, and with it a new kind of audience. The early Lieder of Schubert, which could be performed at the piano without substantial musical training, illustrate the broadened reach of art in this period. Further, Biedermeier writers were themselves mainly middle-class, as opposed to the Romantics, who were mainly drawn from the nobility. Lied (plural Lieder) is a German word, literally meaning song; among English speakers, however, it is used primarily as a term for European classical music songs, also known as art songs. ...

The second trend is the growing political oppression following the end of the Napoleonic Wars prompting people to concentrate on the domestic and (at least in public) the non-political. Due to the strict publication rules and censorship, writers primarily concerned themselves with non-political subjects, like historical fiction and country life. Political discussion was usually confined to the home, in the presence of close friends. This atmosphere changed by the time of the revolutions in Europe in 1848. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... 1848 (MDCCCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Biedermeier architecture is marked by simplicity and elegance, exemplified by the paintings of Jacob von Alt and Carl Spitzweg. Through the unity of simplicity, mobility and functionality the Biedermeier created tendencies of crucial influence for the Jugendstil / Art Nouveau, the Bauhaus and the 20th century. The Poor Poet, 1839. ... Jugendstil is defined as a style of architecture or decorative art similar to Art Nouveau, popular in German-speaking areas of Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. ... Poster by Alfons Mucha Art Nouveau (IPA: , anglicised ) (French for new art) is an international style of art, architecture and design that peaked in popularity at the beginning of the 20th century. ... Reconstructed main building of the Bauhaus Dessau (2003). ...

Furniture design

An influential style of furniture design from Germany during the years 1815-1848 based on utilitarian principles. The period extended later in Scandinavia as disruptions due to numerous German wars were absent. Throughout the period emphasis is kept on clean lines and minimal ornamentality; as the period progressed however the style moved from the early rebellion against Romantic era fussiness to increasingly flourished commissions by a rising middle class eager to show their wealth. The idea of clean lines and utilitarian postures would resurface in the twentieth century, continuing to the present day. Middle to late Biedermeier work in furniture design represents the last gasps of Old Europe. Social forces originating in France would change the artisan-patron system that achieved this period of design, first in the Germanic states and then into Scandinavia.


  • Jane K. Brown, in The Cambridge Companion to the Lied, James Parsons (ed.), 2004, Cambridge.
  • Ritter Antik, an antique store in New York specializing in Biedermeier. www.RitterAntik.com

  Results from FactBites:
Biedermeier - Elegant, Simple Interior Design (784 words)
The Biedermeier period lasted from the fall of Napoleon in 1815 until the Revolution of 1848.
During the Biedermeier period, the continent of Europe saw a great awakening in its desire to infuse interior design with a new elegant simplicity.
The term Biedermeier was coined after a fictitious poet, who was sarcastically describing the current style of clean lines and spare shapes that could be found in almost every home of the time.
MAM - About Us - Press Room (2326 words)
Biedermeier: The Invention of Simplicity is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum in collaboration with the Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin and the Albertina in Vienna.
The term “Biedermeier” is often assumed to be the surname of a cabinetmaker of the period, but is actually an imaginary character -- a pseudonym that played on the German adjective “bieder,” meaning plain and unpretentious, and “Meier,” a common German surname.
Biedermeier painting, which is not well known in the U.S., followed in the wake of the intellectual movement, German Romanticism.
  More results at FactBites »



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