(Klagenfurt 1891 – Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1949)
Oskar Mulley was born in Klagenfurt in 1891, as the son of a k. k. Official of the Carinthian savings bank. At the age of ten, Oskar Mulley was already noticed by his drawing teacher at the state secondary school in Klagenfurt as being talented.
Later (from the winter semester 1909/10) he studied for a year at the municipal trade school in Munich, after which he moved from 1910 to 1913 to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
After graduating, Mulley briefly worked as a theater painter in Vienna. He quickly ended his service at the front in World War I after injuring his leg. During this time, he got to know the South Tyrolean high mountains.
In 1917 Mulley married his wife Luise in Bozen and lived in Kufstein from 1918 as a lieutenant in the reserve. Oskar Mulley's early work is clearly influenced by Art Nouveau, which he interpreted individually.
From 1925 his steep ascent as a mountain painter began, also beyond the borders of Tyrol. Mulley's paintings from the Kufstein period are characterized by mountain motifs and are devoid of figures. His heroic landscapes with the impasto paint application using spatula technique were already in great demand in the mid-1920s. Mulley placed mountain farms and chapels in front of the craggy rock faces of the Tyrolean mountains, which creates tension and depth. The impasto application of paint and the wide spatula technique increase this effect. Mulley's works were so popular that in 1932 the painter even had to fight a plagiarism suit (in Nuremberg) against a forger named Fritz Blädel. Even today, the spatula pictures from the time in Kufstein are the most popular "Mulleys".
In 1927 Mulley became a member of the Vienna Secession. He was also a member of the Carinthian and Salzburg Art Associations and the Vienna Artists' House.
Oskar Mulley received numerous awards for his artistic work, in 1937 he was awarded the Austrian Golden State Medal for Fine Arts.
From 1934 the artist lived with his family - he was now the father of two daughters - in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The pictures from this period are atmospheric compositions with softer and more flowing colors. The motifs also became less steep, Mulley depicted the foothills of the Alps, and the mountains can only be made out in the background. In this last creative phase, some still-lifes were also created. Mulley was exempt from military service in World War II. In 1949 he died in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Works by Oskar Mulley can be found today in the Municipal Gallery in the Lenbachhaus in Munich, in the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck and in the Kufstein Museum of Local History.