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Paul Flora
Glorenza / Glurns - Val Venosta, 1922


An Austrian drawer and graphic artist. In his autobiography “Dies und das” (Diogene Verlag) he says of himself: “I was born an Italian citizen, at 6 I became Austrian and remained so for 10 years, then for another 7 I was German and from 1945 I became Austrian once again. I do not feel especially cut-out as such, and as a humourist, and even jolly people tend to make me melancholic”. The raven, his heraldic bird, is a recurring motif. His lively youthful works were greatly influenced by Alfred Kubin; in 1948 he became a member of the Art Club Vienna and even before 1950 his drawings feature a refined and delicate touch. In 1957 he started working for the Die Zeit weekly.

Paying homage to the tomb of Christian Hess

Innsbruck, 26 November 1974 – On the thirtieth anniversary of the death of Louis Christian Hess, Paul Flora (at the centre) and Wilfried Kirschl, a member of the Union of Austrian Artists (on the left), seen here with the Director of the Italian Institute of Culture, Aldo Lucciarini, pay homage to the tomb of the artist – in the Innsbruck Westfriedhof Cemetary – aged 48, during an air raid over Innsbruck. Exactly thirty years after his death a large itinerant exhibition of Rediscovery of the work of this Tyrolean artist was inaugurated in Sicily, where he had lived in exile, sponsored by the European Parliament, the Region of Sicily and the Goethe Institut, later touching other locations in Italy, Austria and West Germany.

He transfers into his works a multifaceted critical spirit, ranging from caustic satire to a delicate irony and mild humour.

Il corvo assetato - The thirsty Raven (2004) hand-coloured etching cm. 8 x 10

“Incontro” - "Meeting” (2000) cm. 8 x 11.
Hand-coloured etching  

From 1970 his works become recognisable because of the great effects of the hues between light and shade. He starts using economic colours as a further element of his drawing (watercolours and, later on, pastel crayons). Elements of a lyrical strength emerge in his last drawings: autumn scenes, horse jockeys in the mist, leafless trees and solitary dilapidated houses.

In the summer of 1997, on his 75th birthday, a great retrospective show was organised in his honour at the Bayerische Akademie of Fine Arts in Munich. Unlike any other artist, Flora has become a signature figure for the 20th century, through the suggestiveness of his graphic art, which singles him out as one of the most important and popular graphic artists in Europe. His works can be found in museums, art galleries and private collections in a number of countries.  

Among the many prizes he has received: the Prize of the Central Tyrolean Government in 1948; Prize of the Society for supporting the Arts of Vienna 1948; Honorary driver on the "Zillertalbahn" Railway,1964;

L'educazione del corvo - The Raven’s Education (2004) – hand-coloured etching cm. 8 x 10

Member of the German Academy of Fine Arts of Munich 1986; International Philatelic Art Prize of Asiago 1986; Honorary Citizenship of Glurns 1992; Plauen Prize, Chemnitz, 1999; Honorary Citizenship of Innsbruck, 2002.