Friday, October 8, 2010

A Rebellion in Architecture

Vienna's Secession building, a symbol of artistic and architectural rebellion in the late 1800s, was once scorned and reviled by the Viennese for its departure from the historicism styles so popular at the time. They called the dome a 'gilded cabbage.' Led by the famous painter, Gustav Klimt, the Secessionist movement in Vienna included other notables such as Otto Wagner, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffman and the architect of this unusual building, Joseph Maria Olbrich. The building still displays its most famous exhibition, a statue of Beethoven by Max Klinger (no, not the one from MASH) and Klimt's Beethoven frieze.

Above the door are the words, "Der Zeit Ihre Kunst. Der Kunst Ihre Freiheit," (To the Age its Art. To the Art its Freedom). "Ver Sacrum" to the left of the entrance, means "Sacred Spring" and was also the name of a popular art magazine of the time.

I especially love this building—and its cabbage—in the sunshine. As we drove by the other day, I finally got a couple of photos that aren't overly cluttered with tour buses, traffic signs or street lights.

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