The Art Nouveau Movement’s Exhibition Hall in Vienna, Austria.


 


The Art Nouveau Movement’s Exhibition Hall in Vienna, which is mostly referred to as Vienna Secession Building, was erected in 1897, supervised by its architect Joseph Maria Olbrich.

At the end of the 19th century, a group of young Viennese artists seceded from the long-established Association of Austrian Artists and founded a group of their own, which they called Vienna Secession (Wiener Secession).
This new art movement, which was similar to other Art Nouveau movements in Europe, was critical of the traditional confines of art as it was taught at the renowned art academies.

At the time, the prevailing artistic style was conservative and retro-minded. This traditional approach restricted the artists in their choice of artistic style and subject. In painting and sculpture, a true-to-life depiction of “classical” motifs was promoted, especially biblical, mythological or historical scenes.
The trendy style in architecture was a melting pot of all previous styles, often put together in one building.
This conservatism in art was later referred to as Historicism.

However, the young secessionist artists objected strongly to this uninspired concept of art. They wanted to express themselves in a new, young way, and to create an original art style that wasn’t a mere copy of former styles.

The new Secession movement was founded by artists like Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich and others.

As they weren’t allowed to show their art in traditional exhibitions, they had to organize some on their own. And the first step was an exhibition hall.

This Vienna Secession Exhibition Hall became an icon of the new movement and is used till this day as a showroom for modern art.

Entrance

Entrance

Vienna Secession Building

Vienna Secession Building

 

Wall, Detail

Wall, Detail

 

The gilt laurel leaves of the dome became the building’s identifying feature. The laurel leaves are a recurring pattern and can also be found on the pilasters and the wall.

Vienna Secession Building, Roof

Vienna Secession Building, Roof

Roof With Inscription

Roof With Inscription

 

Entrance

Entrance

Entrance

Entrance

 

Entrance, Plant Pot

Entrance, Plant Pot

Above the entrance, you see depictions of the three Gorgons, which are female creatures of Greek mythology, named Stheno, Euryale and Medusa. Their hair consists of living, venomous snakes, and they turn anybody who beholds them to stone. They were common attributes of Pallas Athene, the godess of wisdom, victory, and the crafts.

The Three Gorgons: Painting, Architecture, Sculpture

The Three Gorgons with the caption: Painting, Architecture, Sculpture

 

Inscription Above The Entrance: To Every Age Its Art, To Art Its Freedom

Inscription Above The Entrance: To Every Age Its Art, To Art Its Freedom

The inscription above the Gorgons reads in German: Der Zeit ihre Kunst, der Kunst ihre Freiheit.
In English: To every age its art, to art its freedom.
This sums the whole movement up and can be understood as its manifesto.

 

Ver Sacrum = Sacred Spring in Latin

Ver Sacrum = Sacred Spring in Latin

Ver Sacrum (Sacred Spring in Latin) was the name of the movement’s magazine.

 

Inside the building, you’ll find not only exhibitions of contemporary art, but also the famous Beethoven Frieze, a painting by Gustav Klimt, dedicated to the composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
As I couldn’t take photographs of it, I’ll show you a detail from Wikipedia.

 

Beethovenfries.jpg
Beethovenfries“ von Gustav Klimt – First uploaded to de.wikipedia by de:Benutzer:Hans Bug.. Lizenziert unter Gemeinfrei über Wikimedia Commons.

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Categories: Austria, ViennaTags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

28 comments

  1. What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  2. Great review and pictures…welcome back! it has been a while 🙂

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  3. Gorgeous photos of one of my favorite buildings ever. I haven’t been inside, though. I’m not really a fan of contemporary art, but I’d love to see that Beethoven frieze.

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  4. Thanks for your beautiful pictures! (I have shared your post on Twitter and my Facebook-page. You got more than 40 likes so far, and 2 shares! )

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The outside of this building is certainly a good indication of what’s inside. What a spectacular façade.

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  6. I love the roof dome made of twinge leaves. What an unusual feature.

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  7. I found Gustav Klimt fascinating when I was in college studying art. You’ve written a very interesting post on this movement and showcased a great many details in your photos. I enjoyed this post very much. 😊

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  8. A stunning post, – well-researched and with beautiful photography. Thank you!

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  9. Loved this post and your website. What a wonderfully researched and beautiful resource you have built here. Well done!!

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  10. Stunnning… The Vienna Secession Building is absolutely mesmerizing! Great post. Best wishes Aquileana 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. When I first visited Vienna I was merely 8 years old, and we were there for 3 days, so I didn’t get a glimpse of all those lovely Secession buildings (and particularly this one). When I visited again 12 years later I got myself a guide book and read all about it. Of course I was fascinated because I love architecture. I hunted down all of the buildings that the guide had! Too bad I didn’t have a digital camera or a blog back then…but I have some printed photos somewhere!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. KleesButterfly, as an Art Nouveau fan, I enjoyed delving into these details of the movement in Vienna. Past visits to Vienna have been short – it seemed we were always en route to Budapest – but I’d be happy to explore this exhibition hall someday.

    Liked by 1 person

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