Josef HOFFMANN

1870-1956

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Status, price and estimation by the artist Josef Hoffmann

Price of a piece of furniture: 150 – 15,000 €.

Price of an object: 100 – 100,000 €

Estimation of a drawing and watercolour: 300 – 10,000 €.

Estimation of a sculpture: 100 – 25,000 €.

Lamp: 1,000 – 250,000 €.

If you would like to have a work by designer Josef Hoffmann appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

An interest in craftsmanship and the discovery of new forms

Attracted by craftsmanship and industrial techniques, he left to study at the National School of Arts and Crafts in Brünn in 1887, before moving to Vienna in 1892. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts to study architecture from 1892 to 1895, under the tutelage of Otto Wagner, who would have a great influence on his future work.

At the end of his studies, he spent a year in Italy and was awarded the Grand Prix de Rome in 1896. Marked by the geometric shapes he discovered during his trip, he returned to Vienna to found the Vienna Secession in 1897. Alongside very active artists (Gustav Klimt, Alfred Roller,…), he promoted an experimental and modern artistic approach.

He became a professor at the Vienna School of Applied Arts and taught architecture, metal and enamel work and applied arts from 1899 to 1936.

The ideal of a total work of art that breaks with Art Nouveau

Representing Austria at the Paris World’s Fair in 1900, Hoffmann presented decors in total rupture with Art Nouveau. He suppressed the curve and the reminder of nature and proposed geometrical forms inspired by cubism. He pursued the ideal of a total work, Gesamtkunstwerk, in which architecture and interior elements are thought out together.

Together with Koloman Moser, he founded the Wiener Werkstätte in 1903, an arts and crafts workshop inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement (whose representatives he had met a few years earlier during a trip to England), in order to mass-produce high-quality furniture and objects. The company calls upon dozens of creators and seeks to enhance the value of the craftsman’s work and the decorative arts, which are often devalued in comparison with the fine arts.

He left the Vienna Secession in 1905 to found the Kunstschau with Gustav Klimt and in the same year completed one of his most important architectural projects, the neo-classical and cubist Sanatorium in Purkersdorf, in which he put his concept of the total work into practice. He was also commissioned to design the Stoclet Palace in Brussels, the pinnacle of his architectural career.

Over the course of his career, Hoffmann designed villas, halls and exhibition pavilions for the Secession and workers’ housing, as well as numerous interior decors. His style became more and more sober and was in keeping with the neoclassical movement.

Between mass production and craftsmanship

Although he is best known for his achievements as an architect, he considered everything he created to be a work of art and also distinguished himself as a designer. Josef Hoffmann designs utilitarian and functional furniture (including the Sitzmachine in 1905), glassware, metal objects, ceramics, fabrics and jewellery. Craftsmanship plays an important role in his work and he produces both mass-produced and handcrafted items. Today, some of his works are still produced, such as the Kubus armchair, while others have become unique.

His works had a great influence on modernism and the Art Deco movement took up his geometric patterns in the 1920s.

Appraise and sell a painting by Josef Hoffmann

If you own a Josef Hoffmann lamp or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.

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