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Fire screen - Irises (fire screen)
  • Irises (fire screen)
    Fischel, Hartwig, born 1861 - died 1940
  • Enlarge image

Irises (fire screen)

  • Object:

    Fire screen

  • Place of origin:

    Vienna (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1905 (made)
    ca. 1905 (painting (image-making))

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fischel, Hartwig, born 1861 - died 1940 (designer)
    Ribarz, Rudolf, born 1848 - died 1904 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on board

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Paul J. Gordon-Fischel

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This screen, incorporating a painting by the artist Rudolf Ribarz, was designed by Hartwig Fischel about 1905. Hartwig Fischel was a friend of Ribarz, and it is fitting that he should have designed the screen after Ribarz's death in memory of his friend.

The screen's bold lines and geometrical decoration are in the latest taste of the Vienna 'Sezessionsstil' or Secessionist style; its base, however, is closer in style to Biedermeier furniture of the early 19th century.

Physical description

Fire-screen, shaped and incised frame of grained spruce enclosing a rectangular glazed and copper-mounted painting of irises, the panel mounted onto a veneered oval spruce stretcher on six stained bun feet.

Place of Origin

Vienna (made)


ca. 1905 (made)
ca. 1905 (painting (image-making))


Fischel, Hartwig, born 1861 - died 1940 (designer)
Ribarz, Rudolf, born 1848 - died 1904 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on board

Marks and inscriptions

'Estate of R Ribarz'
Estate stamp; German; on side; stamping (marking)

illegible letters in pencil
on side

1) Makers's mark 2) Signature; on side; signing


Height: 79.5 cm painting, Width: 59.7 cm painting, Height: 126 cm whole, Width: 87.5 cm whole, Depth: 23 cm whole

Object history note

This screen, incorporating a painting from the artist's estate, was probably designed after Ribarz's studio auction in 1905. The auction was held in November 1905 at the Galerie H. O. Miethke.
The Ribarz auction catalogue lists many flower studies similar in size to the fire-screen panel: none however seems to correspond to the painting in the screen.

Object sampling carried out by Jo Darrah, V&A Science; drawer/slide reference 7/75.

Historical context note

Fischel was a friend of Ribarz whose tomb he designed and on whom he wrote an obituary in Kunst und Handwerk (VIII, 1905, p.501ff.)
The frame of this screen is a contrast to one designed at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna in 1892 for another painting of irises by Ribarz in about 1892. This one survives in the Österreichisches Museum for angewandte Kunst, although the painting is now lost (see Arbeiten der Österreichischen Kunst-Industrie, Vienna, 1893, II Plate 17).

Descriptive line

Fire screen, Irises, designed by Hartwig Fischel, painted by Rudolf Ribarz, ca. 1905, Vienna

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Jervis, Simon: Furniture Of About 1900 From Austria & Hungary In The Victoria & Albert Museum, London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1986, no.8, p. 28, 29
Kunst und Kunsthandwerk, VIII, 1905, p. 501 ff.
Arbeiten der Österreichischen Kunst-Industrie, Vienna, 1893, II Plate 17


Spruce; Copper; Glass; Oil colour


Joining; Painting; Graining; Mounting

Subjects depicted



Furniture; Paintings


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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