Waldmüller briefly attended the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, but later had to finance his life by painting portraits. In 1811 he worked as a teacher of arts for the children of Count Gyulay in Croatia. After three years he returned to Vienna and started to improve his skills by copying the works of old masters. Waldmüller later became interested in nature and started painting landscapes. These are his most notable works, in which his sense of colour and knowledge of nature helped him to achieve masterly skill. In 1823 he made a portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven. He was professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, but was in disputes with the Viennese establishment, most notably for his comments on the system of the academy, where he wanted to establish a focus of the study on nature. Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller was one of the most important Austrian painters of the Biedermeier period. Whether it was the conquest of the landscape and thus the convincing rendering of closeness or distance, the accurate characterisation of the human face, the detailed and refined description of textures, or the depiction of rural everyday life: his works – brilliant, explanatory, moralising, and socially critical – influenced a whole generation of artists. Being an advocate of natural observation and plein air painting, as well as a critic of academic painting, Waldmüller was far ahead of his time.