(Vienna 1844 – Grafenegg/Lower Austria 1926)
Olga Wisinger-Florian was born in Vienna in 1844 into a middle-class family. Before she became one of the most famous painters of Austrian Impressionism, she learned the piano in her youth and worked for years as a concert pianist. In 1874 she had to break off this career because of health problems with her hand. She married the wealthy pharmacist Franz Wisinger and from 1875, after the birth of her son, took painting lessons from Melchior Fritsch and August Schaeffer von Wienwald.
In 1880 she became a student of Emil Jakob Schindler, who significantly influenced her with his way of depicting landscapes. Wisinger-Florian went on several study trips with Schindler.
In 1881 the painter had her first solo exhibition in the Vienna Künstlerhaus, later her pictures were exhibited several times in the Vienna Secession and at the Hagenbund. She gained international fame through the world exhibitions in Paris and Chicago.
From 1883 Wisinger-Florian also gave painting lessons herself, and her students included members of the imperial family. In 1884 Wisinger-Florian broke away from Emil Jakob Schindler and her painting became more realistic. In 1900 she founded the artist association Eight Artists together with Marie Egner and others. Gradually Wisinger-Florian developed her color palette in a more intense and more expressionist direction. Among the buyers of her works were prominent personalities such as Franz Joseph I. She was honored with several awards, such as the Golden State Medal in 1905.
In 1910 the Association of Austrian Women Artists was founded, which marked an important step in the emancipation of women who worked as artists. Her friendship with Bertha von Suttner led to political engagement in the peace movement.
For health reasons, Olga Wisinger-Florian withdrew from social life in 1910. Due to cancer and an eye disease from which she finally went blind, she retired to Grafenegg in Lower Austria, where she died in 1926. The artist was buried in an honorary grave in Vienna's central cemetery.