Franz Xaver Petter

HE was born on October 23, 1791, in Lichtenthal, a Viennese suburb where the soprano Catarina Cavalieri had first seen the light of the world and Franz Schubert would, six years later. His father was a porcelain painter, and the son was designated for the same career, but his interest turned to oil painting instead. He studied at Vienna academy under Johann Baptist Drechsler (another native of Lichtenthal) and later under Sebastian Wegmayr.

In 1815, he became corrector of the Academy’s flower painting school. From 1816 on, he exhibited regularly, first at the Academy, then at the Österreichischer Kunstverein. In 1822 he was appointed professor, in 1835 director and academic counselor. In 1848, he retired from the Academy. In his time, he was one of the most popular flower painters.

Several other members of the Petter family are notable too, especially his cousin Anton Petter, who painted religious pieces and scenes from Austrian history. Of Franz Xaver’s sons, Theodor became a painter as well, Gustav a musician and collector of autographs.

Franz Xaver Petter died on May 11, 1866, in Vienna.