Alfred Zwiebel was an established landscape, floral and still life artist. He was born in 1914 in the region of southern Germany known as Franconia (Bavaria0, where he grew up in the city of Bamberg, famed for its medieval cathedral and many other architectural gems from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque. That city and the beauty of its surrounding country side inspired the artist from his boyhood to the end of his life and are among the dominant themes of his landscape paintings.
In 1935, soon after the Nazis came to power in Germany, Zwiebel immigrated to the United States, settling first in Milwaukee and then in Queens, New York, whre he married and had one daughter. Zwiebel became a U.S. citizen in 1942 and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He then worked at a variety of jobs until he was able to devote himself full-time to his art in the 1960s.
During that decade, Zwiebel began to exhibit in both the United States and Europe. He became particularly well known in his native Bavaria, where he won considerable critical acclaim. Newspaper critiques there called his work “painted chamber music” (Frankische Landeszeitung); wrote , “His glowing flower paintings are more than paintings – they are symphonies of color” (Obermain – Tagblatt); and stated, impressionistic as Monet” (Suddeutsche Zeitung).
Zwiebel’s work has been shown in galleries and museums across the United States as well as in Canada, Germany, Austria and England, and hangs in public and private collections of fours continent. When Count and Countess Bernadotte of the Swedish royal family (the uncle and aunt of the present King of Sweden) decided to open a public art gallery in their palace on their island on Mainau, a tourist Mecca for its famed botanical gardens, they invited Zwiebel to give the inaugural exhibition as a part of the gala celebration of the city’s 1,000th anniversary; to take part in the prestigious exhibition marking the 975th year of the Bamberg Cathedral, comprised of works of outstanding artists from Albrecth Durer to the present; and to give a major exhibition in the city’s historical museum.
Zwiebel loved the work of many artists and schools of painting, but felt the deepest affinity for the French Impressionist, by whom he was also most strongly influenced. When asked to which stylistic movement he felt he most belonged, he would say that he would call himself a “modern impressionist”. In fact, the Munich newspaper the Abendzeitung wrote of his work: “Impressionism an art of the past? The artist proves otherwise. The strength and beauty of his work show it to be as much alive as ever. One could call Zwiebel a belated of Pissarro, but he is a Pissarro for modern eyes.”
Alfred Zwiebel died in New York City in February 2005 at the age of 90