The National Gallery: ‘Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900’

by Paula Terán

London, from 9. October 2013 to 12. January 2014

The National Gallery is presenting the exhibition ‘Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900′, dedicated to the development of the portrait in Vienna, one of the most distinctive themes of the modern art in Austria at the end of the 19th century and the beggining of the 20th.

Self Portrait with Raised Bared Shoulder, 1912, Egon Schiele. Oil on wood. © Leopold Museum Private Foundation, Vienna

Self Portrait with Raised Bared Shoulder, 1912, Egon Schiele. Oil on wood. © Leopold Museum Private Foundation, Vienna.

Unlike other artists working at that time in other European cities, such as Paris, Berlin or Munich, the Viennese artists often worked on the basis of the commissions received from their patrons whom wanted to be portrayed. So the image of the individual, the Portrait, was a very relevant part of their work.

Posthumous Portrait of Ria Munk III, 1917-18, Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. © Property of The Lewis Collection

Posthumous Portrait of Ria Munk III, 1917-18, Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. © Property of The Lewis Collection

The exhibition explores the period around the year 1900 in Vienna, when the city still was the multi-national and multi-ethnic capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867-1918). This period ended with the rise of conservative, nationalist and anti-Semitic movements and Portraits were used by the middle classes, many of them immigrants with Jewish roots (the so-called ‘‘New Viennese’’), as the way to get its status and sense of belonging.

The viewer can identify and reconstruct the shifting identities of artists, patrons, families, friends, intellectuals and celebrities of Vienna’s society at that time.

Portrait of Empress Elisabeth, 1899, Gyula Benczúr. Oil on canvas. Hungarian National Museum Historical Gallery © Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, Budapest

Portrait of Empress Elisabeth, 1899, Gyula Benczúr. Oil on canvas. Hungarian National Museum Historical Gallery
© Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, Budapest

The exhibition shows paintings from major collections around the globe, including some of the most relevant of the Belvedere in Vienna and the MoMA in New York, together with others from smaller public and private collections. Other unusual works such as drawings, masks or photographs are also present.
Some wonderful paintings included in the exhibition are The Family (Self-Portrait) by Schiele (1918, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna); Nude Self Portrait by Gerstl (1918, Leopold Museum, Vienna), Portrait of a Lady in Black by Gustav Klimt (about 1894, Private collection) and Portraits of Christoph and Isabella Reisser by Anton Romako (1884-5, Leopold Museum, Vienna).
Nude Self-Portrait with Palette, 1908, Richard Gerstl. Oil on canvas. © Leopold Museum Private Foundation, Vienna.

Nude Self-Portrait with Palette, 1908, Richard Gerstl. Oil on canvas. © Leopold Museum Private Foundation, Vienna.

The extraordinary Portrait of Hermine Gallia by Gustav Klimt (1904, The National Gallery, London), the only painting by this artist in the National Gallery, is also shown.

One of the rooms of the exhibition is devoted to the portrait as a declaration of love and commemoration of dead and another one, very special is dedicated to the unfinished or abandoned works that did not meet the expectation of the artists or the patrons.

Ria Munk on her Deathbed, 1912, Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. Private Collection Courtesy Richard Nagy Ltd., London © Photo courtesy of the owner.

Ria Munk on her Deathbed, 1912, Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. Private Collection Courtesy Richard Nagy Ltd., London
© Photo courtesy of the owner.

As usual, some useful information for your visit:

  • The National Gallery website: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/
  • Dates and opening hours for the exhibition: from 9 October 2013 to 12 January 2014. Monday to Sunday from 10.00h to 16.00h; Fridays from 10.00h to 21.00h.
  • Ticket Prices and Sales: Timed-ticket entry* (*ticket holders should enter the exhibition at the Sainsbury Wing during the half hour time slot on their ticket. You can stay as long as you like until closing procedures start, but there is no re-admission to the exhibition): General: £12.50 ; Students/Job seekers/12-18s: £5.50. Children up to 12: free.

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La National Gallery: ”Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900” (”Frente a la Modernidad: El Retrato en la Viena de 1900”). Londres , del 9. Octubre 2013 al 12. Enero 2014.

La National Gallery está presentando la exposición ”Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Viena 1900” (”Frente a la Modernidad: El Retrato en la Viena de 1900”), dedicada al desarrollo del retrato en Viena, uno de los temas más distintivos del arte moderno en Austria a finales del siglo XIX y comienzos del siglo XX.

The Family (Self Portrait), 1918, Egon Schiele. Oil on canvas. © Belvedere, Vienna.

The Family (Self Portrait), 1918, Egon Schiele. Oil on canvas. © Belvedere, Vienna.

A diferencia de otros artistas de la época que desarrollaban su trabajo en otras ciudades europeas como París, Berlin o Munich, los artistas vieneses a menudo trabajaban por encargo de sus mecenas, quienes deseaban ser retratados. De esta manera, la imagen del individuo, el Retrato, tuvo una gran relevancia dentro de su obra.

Portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl, 1917-18, Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. © Belvedere, Vienna. Donated by Vita and Gustav Künstler.

Portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl, 1917-18, Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. © Belvedere, Vienna.
Donated by Vita and Gustav Künstler.

La exposición explora el periodo aldedor del año 1900 en Viena, cuando la ciudad era la capital internacional y multiétnica del Imperio austro-húngaro (1867-1918).  Esta época finalizaría con el surgimiento de movimientos conservadores , nacionalistas y antisemíticos y los retratos eran utlizados por las clases medias burguesas, formadas en gran parte por inmigrantes de origen judío (los ‘nuevos vieneses’), como medio para declarar su estatus y su sentido de pertenencia.

El espectador puede identificar y reconstruir la identidad cambiante de los artistas, mecenas, familias, amigos, intelectuales y celebridades de la sociedad vienesa del momento.

ortrait of Albert Paris von Gütersloh, 1918, Egon Schiele. Oil on canvas. © The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Gift of the P. D McMillan Land Company.

Portrait of Albert Paris von Gütersloh, 1918, Egon Schiele. Oil on canvas. © The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota
Gift of the P. D McMillan Land Company.

La exposición muestra pinturas de las grandes colecciones internacionales, incluyendo algunas de las obras más relevantes el Belvedere de Viena y del MoMA de Nueva York, junto a otras procedentes de colecciones más pequeñas, tanto públicas como privadas. También se incluyen trabajos menos habituales como dibujos, máscaras o fotografías.

Algunos de los cuadros que se pueden ver en la muestra son ‘The Family (Self-Portrait)’ – ‘La Familia (Autorretrato)’, de Schiele (1918, Galería Belvedere, Viena); ‘Nude Self Portrait’ – ‘Autorretrato desnudo’ de Gerstl (1918, Museo Leopold, Viena); ‘Portrait of a Lady in Black’ – ‘Retrato de una dama en negro’ de Gustav Klimt (alrededor de 1894, colección privada) y ‘Portraits of Christoph and Isabella Reisser’ – ‘Retratos de  Christoph y de Isabella Reisser’ de Anton Romako (1884-5, Museo Leopold, Viena).

Portrait of a Lady in Black, about 1894, Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. Belvedere, Vienna, Loan from a private collection © Belvedere, Vienna.

Portrait of a Lady in Black, about 1894, Gustav Klimt. Oil on canvas. Belvedere, Vienna, Loan from a private collection
© Belvedere, Vienna.

El extraordinario retrato de Hermine Gallia de Gustav Klimt (1904, National Gallery, Londres), única obra de este artista en la National Gallery, se muestra también en la exposición. La muestra también dedica una sala al retrato como declaración de amor y conmemoración de los difuntos y otra sala donde se exponen obras inacabadas o abandonadas al no responder a las expectativas del artista o del mecenas.

Silvia Koller with a Bird Cage, 1907-8, Broncia Koller. Oil on canvas. © Eisenberger Collection, Vienna.

Silvia Koller with a Bird Cage, 1907-8, Broncia Koller. Oil on canvas. © Eisenberger Collection, Vienna.

Como es habitual, aquí se incluye alguna información útil para la visita: 

  • Página web de la National Gallery: http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/
  • Fechas y horario de apertura de la exposición: del 9 de octubre del 2013 al 12 de enero del 2014. De lunes a domingo de 10.00h a 18.00h; viernes de 10.00h a 21.00h.
  • Tarifas y venta de entradas: las entradas son con horario marcado* (*el poseedor de la entrada deberá entrar a la exposición por el ala Sainsbury a lo largo de la media hora que aparece en la entrada. Podrá permanecer en la exposición el tiempo que desee hasta el comienzo del cierre, pero no será readmitido una vez que la abandone). Tarifa general: £12.50; estudiantes/desempleados/ jóvenes con edades entre 12-18 años: £5.50. Niños hasta 12 años: entrada gratuíta.
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