Leopold at Last

I should have explained that the Leopold is part of a complex of museums known as the Museum Quartier, and it is named after Rudolf Leopold who amassed a collection of 5200 artworks, including the greatest collection of Egon Schiele works.

Schiele was a protege of Klimt and was a unique talent, tragically dying in 1918 from the Spanish flu just days after his wife. There are several Klimt’s in the collection along with other early 19th century Austrian artists

Klimt’s Death and Life is the centrepiece of this exhibition, from the Klimdt collection, at least.

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Life and Death

here death looks malevolently at life, which shows all stages from birth to old age. Death can all these in turn, but cannot take multifarious life itself.  The major part of the exhibition though is from the Schiele collection and it is magnificent.  Reprentative is this self portrait, one of many, Schiele placed himself in many of his paintings.  At first grotesque, Schiele’s work captivates by its sheer honesty and perception.

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Schiele, Self Portrait

He had a long term relationship with his model, “Wally” and there are two portraits, which I’ll try to put together, of Schiele and Wally.

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Ok, that seems to have worked.  He married someone else though, perhaps because he was becoming respectable!

the exhibition is fantastic and after four hours or so, we go in search of more Klimt at the Secession museum, which contains his “Beethoven Frieze”.  To tell the truth, this is rather disappointing.  The frieze was made for a specific exhibition of the Secession movement in 1902.  Though it contains many iconic Klimt images, it was painted on panels and has now been re-installed onto concrete, which creates a bizarrely incongruous effect.  No photographs!  Many images can be found on the net.

Did that work?  Any way, a picture of the Secession building.

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