01 June 2007


Being in Vienna has really been making me think about how for so long, and still today, Vienna is like the last stop before going into the great unknown that is Eastern Europe (PC now: Central Europe, East Central Europe). It's so lovely cosmopolitan exotic.

I kind of stumbled into the Secession Building, having planned to visit it but not expecting it to be at the end of the market I'd been walking through. I was nearly moved to tears, seriously.
"DER ZEIT IHRE KUNST, DER KUNST IHRE FREIHEIT": to every age its art, and from art, its freedom.

In the Leopold Museum, Kolo Moser's The Lovers (Liebespaar), from c. 1913.

Kolo Moser's Selfportrait with Mermaid (Selbsportrait mit Meerjungfrau), c. 1914.

The Kunsthistoriches museum is a little bit out of control, and one of those museums where the architecture and decoration competes with the collection itself. When I walked in, I was totally overwhelmed, but then rather redeemed my feelings when I looked up and saw the above fresco. As a passing thought, I though of it as an apotheosis, and it turns out, it is a fresco of the Apotheosis of Painting (therefore, study is beginning to pay off). I like it mainly because it's one of those post-Baroque frescos that is not classical (Carracci/Poussiniste), but rather dynamic enough to take the perspective of the viewer into consideration.

Andrea Solario. Salome with the Head of John the Baptist. 1520-24.

Bernardino Luini. Salome with the Head of John the Baptist. 1525-30.

A fraction of the coolness of the Prunksaal.

In addition, I also went to the Lipanzzaner Museum, which was small but very well done, and walked through the Hofburg. The churches I went to were the Stephansdom, the Peterskirche (the visit to which was ruined by my immediate realization that it's the Austrian Opus Dei HQ), the Minoritenkirche (the Italian church), and the kirche am hof (the Croatian church).

Right after I'd gone to the Leopold, I went to the Ludwig Collection across the Museumsplatz, but it was all a big Yves Klein show, and while the archival materials were interesting, I could only take so much and I wanted to save brain power for the Kunsthistoriches et. al. The last museum I went to was the MAK, which has connections to the Neue Galerie New York/Ronald Lauder via the furniture curator Christian Witt-Döring.

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