Friday, July 4, 2014

My Favorite Paintings at Leopold Museum, Vienna

Leopold Museum in Vienna is renown for its collections of late 19th through early 20th century works by Austrian masters, such as Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Richard Gerstl.

My favorite works there were many, and the two top choices were both by Schiele. My first favorite piece was called "Kalvaienberg" (Calvary Hill), which was of a square format, with the top one-third depicting blue and pink sky, and the lower part the gentle hill whose sloping top was dominated by tilting trees and three clustered crosses, breaking into the horizontal layers of clouds. It was rendered in overly sweet palette, verged on nauseating, therefore overcame the danger of being sentimental.  The understated rendering created a violent contrast between the content and the style which made this piece less conventionally overpowering, therefore startlingly striking and fresh. It affected without screaming.

DSCN0898 _ Kalvarienberg, 1912, Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum
Kalvarienberg, 1912, Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum

My second favorite painting was titled "Kardinal und Nonne" (Cardinal and Nun).  Against pitch black background, two kneeling figures, with their jutting naked lower legs formed the foundation of a pyramid, consisted of the upper bodies of these two figures - a luscious-looking cardinal, and a furtive-looking nun, whose interlocking hands formed a dubious gesture of praying, in a tight embrace reminiscent the iconic embrace of Gustav Klimt's "Kuss" (Kiss).  The scarlet robe of the cardinal and the black garb of the nun, contrasted greatly and created a great drama, which was however, dwarfed by the dramas manifested on their faces.  The cardinal was the obvious aggressor, while the nun, however, could be a victim, an accomplice, or both, in their illicit and grotesque embrace. A powerful rendering of decay.

DSCN0924 _ Kardinal und Nonne, Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum
Kardinal und Nonne, Egon Schiele, Leopold Museum

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 83: My Favorite Artworks at Secession Building, Vienna
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List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

Other Related posts on Art · 文化 · Kunst:
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- My Favorite Paintings at Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
- My Favorite Paintings at Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien (Vienna)
- Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele in Wien (Vienna)
- Visiting Four Universities in Austria and Italy

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