Katharina Zirner, married name: Rapaport

(painter, graphic artist)

Born on 24.11.1890 in Vienna. Her father owned a jewellers shop on Vienna’s main shopping street, Mariahilferstraße. Her mother was from the Zwieback family who ran a chain of fashion shops in Vienna.

It is said that she was taught by the young painter Anton Faistauer. With the painter Frieda Salvendy she played a decisive part in the artist group called (Free) Movement (Bewegung). Her expressive style of painting with its bold and Expressionist use of colour reflected the beliefs of this group. Her religious compositions capture reactions to the catastrophe of the First World War.

In 1927 she married the painter Rudolf Rapaport (called Rudolf Ray). She was an avid theosophist and so the couple went on their honeymoon to India. After giving birth to a son, Katharina Zirner died in India that same year.

She was an important member of the association Free Movement (Bewegung) and showed her work on a number of occasions in exhibitions of the National Organization of Austrian Women in the Visual Arts (VBKÖ) and at the Künstlerhaus. For example, her work featured in the exhibitions "Deutsche Frauenkunst” (1925) and "Die Kunst unserer Zeit” (1930).