Alfons Walde was born on 8 February 1891 in Oberndorf (Tyrol) as the son of the teacher Franz Walde and Maria Walde (born Ritzer).

In 1892 the family moved to Kitzbühel where Alfons’ father became head of the school. From 1903 on Alfons attended the junior high school, which he completed with great success and where he showed his artistic skills for the first time with watercolour and tempera paintings in an expressionistic style.

From 1910 to 1914 Walde studied at the University of Technology in Vienna. In those years he often visited his aunt in Kirchdorf in Upper Austria and painted the local farmsteads, fields and gardens. He exhibited his works for the first time in the bookshop Czichna and in the Viennese Secession in 1911 and 1913.

From 1914 to 1918 he served as a front officer in the imperial gun regiment in South Tyrol and Bosnia. In 1918 he returned to his home town Kitzbühel and from now devoted himself to painting. He created oil paintings like “Carnival in Kitzbühel” or “Church going”, but also several nude drawings.

In 1920, for the first time after the war, he exhibited paintings in Vienna. In 1925 he married Hilda Lackner from Kitzbühel and participated in the biennial arts exhibition in Rome. He started to print and merchandise his works as posters and post cards in his own fine art publishing company based in Kitzbühel, later (from 1932 on) created advertisements for Tyrolean winter sports resorts. His alpine subjects thus became well known to a broad public.

After the divorce from his first wife Walde married Lilly Walter in 1930 and became father of a daughter. In the early 1930ies he created famous paintings like “Kaiser alp” or “Late winter”.

In 1940 he married for a third time. From 1946 on Walde, who was also an architect, focused on architecture projects and was awarded a doctor’s degree on the occasion of his 65th birthday in 1956. On 11 December 1958 he suffered a heart attack in his sister’s house and died.

The increased production and distribution of art prints and post cards by his own publishing company led to reproaches of a painter for the masses, but also raised Walde’s international popularity. Unauthorized Walde copies and counterfeits, which the artist combated juridically, already occurred in 1930 and still circulate on the art market.

Widder Fine Arts

 

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