Style of German and Austrian art, furniture, and decoration that developed from c.1815 to 1848. Gottlieb "Papa" Biedermeier was a fictional cartoon character, the comic symbol of middle-class comfort, with an emphasis on family life and the pursuit of hobbies. The subject matter of Biedermeier paintings, which were either genre or historical, was treated sentimentally; Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885) is the best-known of the Biedermeier painters. The simplicity and functionality of Biedermeier furniture were derived from the Empire and Directoire styles, but it was characterized by more restrained geometric shapes. The style was revived in the 1960s.