Monday, July 28, 2014
The most important religious building in Vienna, Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral), with multi-colored tile roof, was one of Vienna's most recognizable landmarks and symbols.
The most interesting work inside this massive structure was a sculptural portrait of Anton Pilgram (also Anton Pilchramb), a late medieval Austrian architect and sculptor. This sculpture, possibly a self-portrait, depicting the sculptor leaning out of a window-like frame, and above his slender body, a massive ornate altar, supported by elongated fan vault. The figure was very austere, yet the whole structure was grand and dramatic. The intense contrast was very intriguing and eloquent.
Portrait of Anton Pilgram, possible self-portrait
My second favorite was outside the building, at the base of its massive walls - a relief of Christ in Gethsemane, a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, where Jesus prayed and his disciples slept the night before Jesus' crucifixion.
The stone relief thrust Jesus in the center of the tableau, kneeling above tumbling boulders, creating a world consisted of bare-boned elements. Jesus and his disciples were modeled in a medieval naïve style, endearing; the background scenes of approaching soldiers, the final climbing to Mount of Olives and the city itself, were depicted in an almost decorative way, unobtrusive, almost negligible. When I visited the Dom, Jesus was cast in the shadow, except for his upturned face - subtly dramatic.
Christ in Gethsemane, after restoration
My Favorite Museum Collection Series
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List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited
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- My Favorite Paintings at Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien (Vienna)
- Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele in Wien (Vienna)
- Liaoning (Proving) Museum in Shenyang
- Basilica Santuario Santo Stefano, Bologna
- My Favorite Sculptures at Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Paris
- My Favorite Sculptures in Cimetière de Montmartre, Paris