Alfred Kubin

Austrian graphic artist, painter and writer

Alfred Kubin (1877–1959)

Short biography

  • Austrian painter and writer
  • 1877 Alfred Leopold lsidor Kubin, born on 10 April in Leitmeritz (Bohemia)
  • 1883 The family moves to Zell am See
  • 1887 Attends secondary school in Salzburg
  • 1892 Apprenticeship as a photographer in Klagenfurt
  • 1898 Munich: Attends the private academy of arts Schmidt-Reutte and the Gysis class at the Academy of Fine Arts
  • 1904 Marriage with Hedwig Gründler (née Schmitz)
  • 1909 Co-founder of the 'Neue Künstlervereinigung München' (New Munich Artists' Association)
  • 1911 Joins the 'Blaue Reiter” (Blue Rider) group
  • 1930 Kubin becomes a member of the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin
  • 1948 Death of his wife Hedwig
  • 1949 Kubin becomes a member of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts
  • 1959 Alfred Kubin dies on 20 August in Zwickledt
  • 1962 Opening of the Kubin House in Zwickledt as a memorial site
  • 1995 Alfred Kubin Project of the state of Upper Austria

The graphic artist, painter and writer Alfred Kubin was born on 10 April 1877 in Leitmeritz in Bohemia. In 1883, the family moved to Zell am See, where Kubin spent several years of his childhood, due to his father's employment as a geodesist. Kubin later said about Zell am See: 'This little village in the high mountains was the main setting of my childhood. [...] I liked to lie on the sloping lakeshore or on the canal in the moor and there, I looked into the transparent depths for the longest time.'

The Lohninghof at Thumersbach  Zell am See of Alfred Kubin
The Lohninghof at Thumersbach Zell am See of Alfred Kubin Eberhard Spangenberg/ Bildrecht, Wien, 2018

In Zell am See, Alfred Kubin attended elementary school, a time that he remembered as being unpleasant. His childhood was also clouded by the death of his mother. She died when he was ten years old. Later, the family moved to Salzburg. After attending secondary school in Salzburg, which he left prematurely, Alfred Kubin began an apprenticeship as a photographer in Klagenfurt, which he also did not complete. In 1898, he went to Munich, where he began drawing; he experienced his formative years in the art scene of Schwabing. Alfred Kubin's breakthrough as a renowned artist came with the publication of the 'Weber-Mappe' (1903) and his novel 'Die andere Seite' (The Other Side, 1909).

The painter in the lake - Kubin
The painter in the lake - Kubin Eberhard Spangenberg/ Bildrecht, Wien, 2018

Together with other artists, he founded the “Neue Künstlervereinigung München” (New Munich Artists' Association), which became later the editorial office of the 'Blauer Reiter' (Blue Rider) group in 1911. Kubin is considered an important representative of expressionism. He described his drawings as 'dream protocols'. Kubin's work consists mainly of partly coloured pen drawings and lithographs full of a dark symbolism. Alfred Kubin died on 20 August 1959 in Zwickledt. He was buried in the Wernstein cemetery.

Zell am See–Kaprun