Modern art flourished in Vienna in the years before 1918 which saw the end of the First World War, the collapse of the empire, and the deaths of both Klimt and Schiele. This exhibition explores Viennese portraiture during the powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918), conveying how the imperial and bourgeois traditions of 19th century art were both sustained and broken-apart by the innovations of avant-garde artists.
The striking portrait paintings of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka star in this major exhibition. Paintings from major collections on both sides of the Atlantic, including those that hardly ever leave the walls of the Belvedere in Vienna and MoMA in New York are shown next to rarely seen, yet remarkable images from smaller public and private collections
A family photograph album belonging to Edmund de Waal, acclaimed author of ’The Hare with Amber Eyes’ (2010) will also be exhibited. De Waal’s family were once a very wealthy European Jewish banking dynasty centered in Vienna; this photograph memoir has been described as an ‘enchanting history lesson’.