Born in 1886 in Klagenfurt as the daughter of Karl Freiherr von Czoernig, federal state director of finance, she wanted to become an artist at an early age. Since only male students were admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna at that time, she first attended the Vienna School of Art for Women and Girls and later studied at the Grand-Ducal School in Weimar. Her teacher in the difficult technique of etching was Professor Ludwig Michalek (1859-1942), with whom she maintained a lifelong friendship.
As a young woman she married the naval officer Siegfried Gobanz, whose professional career was over in 1918 with the end of the monarchy. This meant that he could no longer provide for the couple alone. Thus, while art had initially been a hobby for Herta Czoernig, it now became her livelihood.
Besides drawings, watercolors and oil paintings, Herta Czoernig mainly created etchings (about 500), which she usually reproduced herself in strenuous work. Her focus was predominantly on topographical motifs, among which the views of Austrian (and also German) musicians' houses are particularly outstanding. She managed to capture the atmosphere of these sites and usually underlined their special significance with an appropriate musical quotation. The composer Ludwig van Beethoven, who changed his apartments rather frequently, is particularly often represented. It is difficult to date these etchings precisely; they can probably be assigned mainly to the last two decades of her creative work.
After the artist's death in 1970, we acquired the copper plates from her estate and have since been producing the etchings offered here in collaboration with one of the last copperplate printers in Vienna. These are original prints and by no means reproductions. For each, the copper plate is inked separately and pressed against moistened laid paper on a hand press (intaglio process). We then color the prints individually by hand and add a title as well as the signature "Nachlass H. Czoernig".
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