Ambrosi, Gustinus

BORN 24 Feb 1893, Eisenstadt, Burgenland - DIED 1 Jul 1975, Wien
GRAVE LOCATION Graz, Steiermark: St. Leonhard-Friedhof (204-010-195-1)

Gustinus Ambrosi grew up in Sankt Pölten and Prague. After an illness in 1900 he was completely deaf. After his father died in 1908 his family moved to Graz. He studied at the Staatsgewerbeschule where Georg Winkler discovered his talent for portrait busts. From 1910 to 1912 he exhibited at the Landesmuseum in Graz. In 1913 he was awarded a studio in Vienna for life by emperor Francis Joseph.

He moved to Vienna with his mother where he studied at the Academy of Arts, where Kaspar von Zumbusch was one of his teachers. In 1918 he married Anni Murmayer, but they divorced in 1922. In that same year he married Maria Louise Janik but in 1925 this marriage was over well. He married his third wife Berta Mayer in 1928 and this marriage lasted 47 years.

Because of his deafness he wrote many letters and among his correspondents were Stefan Zweig, Anton Wildgans and Franz Theodor Csokor.

In 1924 he made a bust of Mussolini and he created a bust of Engelbert Dollfuß, who had been murdered in 1934. It was destroyed by the nazis in 1938. In 1938 the gestapo questioned him, but he was released. Albert Speer selected him to create sculptures for the Reichskanzlei in Berlin. Two scultures were realised but lack of materials prevented him from creating others.

He tried to join the NSDAP in 1938 but he was finally rejected in 1941. Speer continued to support him. Hitler liked his work and planned a studio for him in Linz, but is was never realised.

In 1953 it was decided that a building would be constructed for him in Vienna that could also be used as a museum. It was realised in the Augarten in 1957. In that same hear he donated 165 works to the Austrian Republic.

In 1969 he started to build a house in Stallhofen, Weststeiermark, to spend his old age. But he suffered from bad health and just before he would move to the new house he killed himself in Vienna in 1975. The house in Stallhofen is a museum since 1988. In the building from 1957 in the Augarten in Vienna the Gustinus-Ambrosi-Museum was opened in 1978. It is now part of the Galerie Belvedere.

Related persons
• corresponded with Csokor, Franz Theodor
• knew Wildgans, Anton


The grave of Gustinus Ambrosi at the St. Leonhard-Friedhof, Graz.
Picture by Androom (11 Sep 2004)


• Gross, Eugen, Friedhofführer der Pfarre Graz-St. Leonhard, Wirtschaftsrat der röm.-kath. Pfarre Graz-St. Leonhard, Graz, 2004

Ambrus, Zoltán

Published: 21 May 2016
Last update: 29 Dec 2021