Jakob Emil Schindler (1842-1892).

Relation to Gustav Mahler (1860-1911): Father in law

  • Born: 27-04-1842 Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria.
  • Father: Jakob Schindler (1814-1846). Previous generation.
  • Mother: Maria Penz (1816-1885).
  • Children: 2:
  1. Alma Mahler (1879-1964)Next generation.
  2. Margarethe (Grete) Julie Schindler (1880-1942) (probably not his own daughter, but a child from Julius Victor Berger (1850-1902)).

Jakob Emil Schindler (1842-1892) was born into a family of manufacturers that had been established in Lower Austria since the 17th Century. He was supposed to pursue a career in the military, but rejected that for a career in the arts. In 1860, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, where he studied with Albert Zimmermann. He found his models, however, in the Dutch Masters such as Meindert Hobbema and Jacob Izaaksoon van Ruisdael. In 1873, he travelled to Venice, followed by trips to Dalmatia and Holland.

04-02-1879 he married the operetta singer Anna Sofie Moll-Schindler-Bergen (1857-1938), who may have been pregnant at the time of the wedding. Their financial situation was somewhat desperate and they had to share an apartment with a colleague of Schindler's, Julius Victor Berger (1850-1902). While still living there, they gave birth to a daughter who would later become famous as Alma Mahler (1879-1964).

During a period when Emil was absent due to an illness, Anna Sofie Moll-Schindler-Bergen (1857-1938) began an affair with Julius Victor Berger (1850-1902). It is believed that her daughter Margarethe (Grete) Julie Schindler (1880-1942), was actually his.

Studio Jakob Emil Schindler (1842-1892).

Studio Jakob Emil Schindler (1842-1892).

In 1881, he won the Reichel Prize, which came with a cash award of 1,500 Gulden, enabling the family to rent their own apartment. Winning the prize also served to attract clients and their financial condition continued to improve. After 1885, he spent his summers at the artists colony in Plankenberg Castle near Neulengbach. He had several students there, including Marie Egner, Tina Blau, Olga Wisinger-Florian and Luise Begas-Parmentier. Two years later, he received a commission from Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria to sketch the coastal towns in Dalmatia and Greece, as part of a project called "The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Words and Pictures" (24 volumes). That same year, he became an honrary member of the Vienna Academy. In 1888, the Munich Academy followed suit.

"Steamboat station on the Danube". Original title: "Die Dampfschiffstation an der Donau gegenuber Kaisermuhlen". Painting by Jacob Emil Schindler (1842-1892).

His private life was less fortunate. Although his wife had ended her affair with Berger, she soon began another, secretly, with Schindler's assistant Carl Moll, who she would marry three years after Schindler's death. He died as the result of appendicitis, which he had left untreated for too long while on vacation. The city of Vienna gave him an "Ehrengrab" (Honor Grave) at the Central cemetery, designed by the sculptor Edmund von Hellmer.

View of Ragusa (Dubrovnik), painted in 1887 during Jakob Emil Schindler (1842-1892)'s second journey to the Dalmatian coast. The people shown in the foreground are the artist’s wife, the Hamburg singer Anna Sofie Moll-Schindler-Bergen (1857-1938), and their daughter Alma Mahler (1879-1964), who later married Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) and Franz Werfel (1890-1945). The figures on the right in the middle of the work are the painter Carl Julius Rudolf Moll (1861-1945), shown dressed as a gardener, and Schindler’s second daughter, Margarethe (Grete) Julie Schindler (1881-1942), who later married the painter Wilhelm Legler (1875-1951)Jakob Emil Schindler (1842-1892) had rented a house in Dubrovnik which is clearly visible at the edge of the cliffs. During severe Sirocco winds the waves would break over the cliff, creating a magical spectacle. 

Grave Jakob Emil Schindler (1842-1892). Vienna, Austria.