Robert Philippi was born in Graz in 1877. He received his first artistic training from the theater painter Robert Kautsky and in the private painting school Streblow in Vienna. From 1893 to 1896 he studied with Christian Griepenkerl and Josef Mathias Trenkwald at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and later with Felician Myrbach and Alfred Roller at the ‘Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule’ (now University of Applied Arts Vienna). There he became assistant to Franz Čižek – the leader of the famous children’s class and inventor of Viennese Kinetism – in 1914 and again from 1917 to 1920.
Philippi initially worked in drawing and woodcutting and increasingly turned to painting from 1925. Philippi is considered to be influenced by Gustav Klimt’s art. He was a member of the Hagenbund until 1925.
Philippi achieved a certain level of fame through the fact that he taught Egon Schiele from 1914 onwards in various printing techniques. Schiele’s narrow graphic oeuvre, limited to this period, as well as some greeting cards addressed to Philippi by Schiele can be traced back to this encounter. Philippi died in Vienna in 1959.