August von Pettenkofen

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"Zigeunerkinder" (Gypsy Children), 22 × 27 cm (Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg)

August von Pettenkofen (1821–1889) was an Austrian painter. Born in Vienna, he was brought up on his father's estate in Galicia. Having decided to give up the military career on which he had started, he devoted himself to painting, taking for his subjects the simple scenes of the life on the dreary Puszta. His paintings are treasured for their fine qualities of color, and for the sincerity with which the artist sets before us the uneventful melancholy life of Hungarian peasants and Gypsies without any theatrical pathos or forced humour.

He was the inventor of the Pettenkofen box, an appliance for dissolving and redistributing cracked or discoloured varnish without friction or the dangerous use of chemicals.

He died in Vienna in 1889.