Hans Figura Biography

Hans Figura





Hans Figura was born January 22, 1898, in the small town of Nagy-Kikinda, Serbia, near the Austro-Hungarian border, to Austrian parents. His father was a railway official and he spent his childhood in various small villages along the railway line between Vienna and Hungary. In 1908 he moved back to Vienna with his family. Hans graduated from the high school and received training at the Graphic Arts Education and Research Institute.. In addition, he also studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien) as well as studying for two years at the Higher Graphical Federal Education and Research Institute, a vocational school (Höhere Graphische Bundes-Lehr und Versuchsanstalt).

Figura was drafted and served as an officer in the Austrian Army during WWI from 1916-18 on the Russian and Italian fronts. After the war he attended medical school at the University of Vienna for several years beginning in 1918, and seven semesters later, he passed his first state exam, but eventually decided that he preferred the arts to medicine. He took drawing and painting courses at the University and at the adult education center. By 1922, after his parents died, Hans devoted himself to painting and etching, while also working in other artistic and printing mediums.

From 1923-28, he made numerous art study trips throughout Europe including Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, England, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. His first major success came in 1924, when he won acclaim for his etchings exhibited in Italy and the United States. In 1929, he visited the United States and in 1930, he traveled back to France, Holland and Switzerland. During this time he maintained studios in both New York City and Vienna, Austria.

Throughout the course of his career, he exhibited his paintings & prints in many of the large cities throughout Europe and the United States. Many of his works were acquired by museums and galleries.

Figura created over 850 etchings, mostly in color, of the historical tourist landscapes and cityscapes of Europe, using primarily aquatint, similar to his colleagues Luigi Kasimir and Josef Eidenberger. Like them he occasionally used silk to print on.

Hans Figura died on February 17, 1978 in Vienna, Austria.