Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

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Sep 13, 2011

STILL LIFE : Secessionist Movement and my impressions...

This Still life is about my recent visit to Vienna and enjoying some time with the creations of famous artists of early 20th Century, specially the artists of Secessionist Movement. Below you will see what I found interesting and some of the paintings that touched me deeply. Vienna is famous for its many creative genius,  famous museums like Belvedere Museums, Leopold Museum etc. I hope you will enjoy the journey with my stills and little bit of information that I have provided here....
VIENNA - The city of creativity
Gustav Klimt the first president of the Secession wrote that it was ‘necessary for the Viennese are world to develop a more lively relationship with the progressive development of art abroad and to conceive exhibitions purely on artisitic merit, independent of market forces’. In the first ten years, it was thanks to the effort of the secession that contemporary European art could be seen in Vienna.

Joseph Maria Ofbrich: The secession building 
shortly before its completion 1898

The secession building: The intention was to exhibit art work by this group of artists in a building that was in keeping with the latest international trends instead of abiding by historical models. The initial reaction to Joseph Maria Olbrich’s building – ranging from ‘a cross between a blast furnace and a glace house’ and an ‘assyrian restroom’ to the grave of Mahdi’ – are an indication of just how exotic this novel concept of art was to the people of Vienna in 1898. 

The Secessionist Building as it is today
“To each age its art – to art its freedom” was the motto of Secessionists.
This has been written on the main entrance to the building

Yet the secession’s art temple – together with elaborately designed Secessionist’s Magazine ‘Ver Sacrum’ Sacred spring – was also to offer asylum and act as a ‘refuge from the turmoil and hardships of modern life where one can pause for a moment and have a contemplative dialogue with one’s soul’ as it was written. 

Gustav Klimt, the first president of Secession, spoke after year of silence on the controversy that his Faculty paintings (which he was commissioned to do in 1895) to adorn the great hall of the University of Vienna created. In 1905, he said, ‘ I want to free myself. I want my freedom back from all these unedifying and ridiculous matters which only keep me from my work. I want to stand up against the cavalier way artistic matters are dealt with by the Ministry of education in the Austrian state. Every opportunity is taken to discourage real art and real artists. Only the weak and the false get sponsored. We need a clearly defined separation. The state has no right to act like a patron of the arts when its hand-outs are paltry, nor does it have the right to act as intermediary and commercial factor; otherwise it is to leave all matters concerning artistic initiatives completely to the artists. The civil servants have no business in the art school...” Klimt words are as timely as ever... 

Now lets move on to some paintings that I enjoyed being with.. in Vienna.

The Cardinal and Nun - Egon Schiele c. 1912

The painting of the cardinal and the nun, also entitled by Egon Schiele – Not without sarcasm – as “tenderness” is a paraphrase of Klimt’s painting “the Kiss”, (Posted below) however the effect is a completely different one, Art Nouveau turned Expressionism. Schiele, provocatively breaks through moral confines and in a tight formal structure captures a stirring subject, the carnal primal instinct outside of all conventions and restrictions.
Egon Schiele (June 12, 1890 – October 31, 1918) was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity, and the many self-portraits the artist produced. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism.

The Kiss - Gustav Klimt c. 1907

The Kiss (original Der Kuss) was painted by Gustav Klimt, and is probably his most famous work. He began work on it in 1907 and it is the highpoint of his so-called 'Golden Period'. It depicts a couple, in various shades of gold and symbols, sharing a kiss against a bronze background. In The Kiss, Klimt depicted a couple locked in an embrace. The rest of the painting dissolves into shimmering, extravagant flat patterning. This patterning has clear ties to Art Nouveau and to the Arts and Crafts movement and also evokes the conflict between two- and three-dimensionality intrinsic to the work of Degas and other modernists. Paintings such as The Kiss were visual manifestations of fin-de-siecle spirit because they capture a decadence conveyed by opulent and sensuous images.

Blind Mother - Egon Schiele

"The blind mother" painting by Egon Schiele is placed in front of slightly tilted wooden cradle, in an exceedingly uncomfortable position, a mother nurses her two children. This position was inspired by Rodin’s bronze figure ‘Crouching woman’ from 1880/82. This image symbolizes the hopeless fate of a blind mother.

Adele Bloch-Bauer - Klimt c. 1907

Klimt's paintings have brought some of the highest prices recorded for individual works of art. In November 2003, Klimt's Landhaus am Attersee sold for 29,128,000, but that was soon eclipsed by prices paid for other Klimts. In 2006, the 1907 portrait, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, was purchased for the Neue Galerie New York by Ronald Lauder for a reported US $135 million, surpassing Picasso's 1905 Boy With a Pipe (sold May 5, 2004 for $104 million), as the highest reported price ever paid for a painting.

Lovers - Koloman Moser

Koloman Moser (March 30, 1868 – October 18, 1918) was an Austrian artist who exerted considerable influence on twentieth-century graphic art and one of the foremost artists of the Vienna Secession movement and a co-founder of Wiener Werkstätte.


Now I leave you with some of the paintings that I loved during my roaming around the museums... as well as some of my impressions of the atmosphere there....If you like to have further information on the paintings, let me know...

Couple in the fields
Richard Gerstl 1883 – 1908

Elf at the Brook
Joseph Maria Auchentaller (1865 – 1949)

Two Children on the Beach c. 1904
Edvard Munch 1863 – 1944

High Valley in Upper Styria c. 1924
Ludwig Ferdinand Graff 1868 1932

Indian fairy tale 1907
Rudolf Kalvach (1883 -1932)

Woman with a fan 1910
Marie Vassilieff 1884 – 1957

An interesting image
How real life reflects the painting

Female Cellist of Gustav Hessing
And The girl with bag

Between the Acrobat and Lovers
The girl in golden hair

The sign at the Leopold Museum Souvenir Shop says it all...
Hope you all have enjoyed the journey....
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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