Anton Kolig (1886-1950) was born in Nový Jičín ,in then Moravia, now the Czech Republic. In 1904, he started to study at the Kunstgewerbeschule, say that fast 10 times, a School of Arts and Crafts in Vienna, along with his boyfriend, poet and painter Oskar Kokoschka (1886 – 1980).
In 1911, Kolig showed his works for the first time to the public at a group show in Vienna. The great painter Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) recommended Kolig for a fellowship in Paris, so he studied modern French paintings at the Louvre.
At the start of World War I, Kolig was in Marseille and he fled across Italy and back to Moravia. In 1916 he enlisted to the Austrian army and was sent to the Italian front as a war artist. The next year he received an order to paint an altar for Emperor Karl I, the last Emperor of Austria and the last King of Hungary, which stayed unfinished when the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy was abolished. During the war, Kolig did portraits of generals, soldiers and prisoners, which he showed in an exhibition together with Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918), another protégé of Klimt, and a major painter of the early 20th century.
Kolig then moved to the Austrian town of Nötsch, where he established a private art school. At the same time his work became more and more internationally respected.
In 1929, Kolig received a commission to paint frescoes in a meeting room at the statehouse in Klagenfurt, the capital of the state of Carinthia in Austria. He finished the project with help from his students. The frescoes were destroyed during the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria in 1938.
Those nasty Nazis destroyed or removed his work from galleries. He was forced into retirement by the Nazis. The Nazis made sure many paintings were destroyed.
Kolig died in Nötsch in 1950.
All paintings from the Leopold Museum (Vienna) archives, home of the largest Kolig collection in the world.