Friedensreich Hundertwasser


Hundertwasser and the design for an Austrian stampFriedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000) was born in Vienna as Friedrich Stowasser. He initially gained acclaim for his paintings, but is currently more renowned for his unique architectural stylings. His revolutionary ecological stands with regard to architecture have earned him the nickname "Architecture-Healer." His works have been used for flags and stamps, coins and posters, schools and churches.


In his youth, Hundertwasser attended a Montessori school in Vienna, which influenced both his affinity for vibrant colors and respect of nature. He collected pebbles and pressed flowers as a child, demonstrating an interest in items that are precious and small at an early age, which later manifested itself in his collections of Venetian glass and Japanese fabrics.


Hundertwasser Haus in ViennaIn 1948 Friendensreich Hundertwasser studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts for 4 months. A year later he changed his name to Friedensreich Hundertwasser, which means "full-of-peace hundred-water". From 1949 to 1952 he undertook many journeys to North Africa and Paris, where he started to deal with the paintings of Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee and others.


In 1962 Hundertwasser had his international break through at the Biennale in Venice. Around this time he also made ideological statements, with his famous nudist speeches and his call for peace, ecology and new forms of architecture. Not unlike the artists of the Session Movement, he saw art as a decoration. Hundertwasser got even more famous as an architect. From 1986 to 1991 he planned and realised different buildings, like the Hundertwasser Haus and the front of the waste combustion Spittelau.


Over the years Hundertwasser designed stamps for Austria, Cape Verde, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Senegal, the Council of Europe (France), Cuba and a private mail company in New Zealand. Among stamp collectors the designs for the United Nations are some of the most popular.


Stamp from United Nations Geneva 1995In 1983 six stamps were issued for the 35th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These were followed in 1995 by three stamps for the Social Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.


On the occasion of his death the UNPA issued a post card with a reproduction of both types of stamps.



Stamp catalogue


Austria                                2 June 2000

Austria                                18 September 2008









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last revised: 1 March 2010