In a few weeks from now, I’ll be flying to Vienna.
I’ll have a lot to do but surely will find some moments to sneak into one of those mythic havens praised by travelers and writers : the deliciously old-fashioned café houses (e.g. the Café Central, as shown below ). After all, the art of consuming coffee was born in this city, after the Siege by the Turks, when bags of strangely perfumed beans were left by the attackers after they were defeated.And of course, I must pay a visit to the artifacts of Sissi’s glamourous passage on Earth, gracefully displayed at the Hofburg.
A Winter wonderland.
Klimt and the Secession members will also have their fair share of my time. The buoyant years of the Secession era are plastered all over the city, and they call for my respectful attention to their extraordinary applications to architecture, fine arts, design and furnishing.
BTW, 2012 is the 150th year of Klimt’s birthday, and Vienna is celebrating the eminent artist.
Which leads naturally to mention the movie “Klimt” by director Raul Ruiz (2006), with John Malkovich in the role of the painter. Whereas, as a fan of Klimt’s work, I had great expectations regarding an insight view of the artist’s challenging and daring ideas and aspirations to hustle a little the establishment and the Academy, I ended being disappointed by the… hum… liberties taken with the historical truth and the quasi-sole “libertine” aspect of Klimt’s life that Ruiz chose to expose.
Klimt may have been caught in the turmoils of both an artistic revolution and a sexual revolution – the latter being instigated by Freud- at the beginning of a new era, and he may have been the subject to scandals (particularly through his paintings, uber-controversial for that time, have a close look at “Medicine”, “Jurisprudence ” or “The gold fish” for instance), he will forever embody a new way of representing the world, as the impressionists will in their way too.
His influence was major in the history of art and his legacy is tremendous. It would probably have been much more consistent and satisfying to explore the reasons for his troubled relations with authority and women (and particularly Emilie Flöge). Probably deeply rooted in the attachment to his mother and loss of his father and his brother, which resulted in his assuming financial responsibility for both his father’s and brother’s families.
Klimt is particularly honored this year at the Belvedere, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Leopold Museum, Albertina, Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Folk Art, and Vienna Museum. If you may be near Vienna those coming months, indulge your artistic cravings for beautiful and powerful art, and go meet the genius.
Well, for me, I shall pack a soothing cream for my (future) aching muscles, as I’ll certainly will not only greet the master’s works, but also walk into every sightseeing-worthy corner. It will be a delight, and Demel’s famous pastries and delicacies will be just a dream away.
I just discovered that Demel is present in NY as well as in Vienna, and has an online shop. I can’t wait to order…