© Academy of Fine Arts Vienna|August Heinrich, Der Untersberg bei Salzburg, 1821   August Heinrich, Der Untersberg bei Salzburg, 1821
© Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Opening: Thursday, 20 November 2003, 7 pm
Welcome address: Stephan Schmidt-Wulffen, Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Introductory words: Monika Knofler, curator of the Prints and Drawings Collection, Cornelia Reiter, curator

Other venues: Stendal, Saxony-Anhalt, Winckelmann Museum (29 October 2001 - 6 January 2002); Coblenz, Mittelrhein Museum (27 April - 23 June 2002); Bologna, Galleria d'arte moderna (23 January - 30 March 2003); Rome, Casa di Goethe (fall 2004)

Catalogue: 25.- Eur, published by Prestel-Verlag (German)

After having shown its selection of about one hundred German and Austrian Romanticist master drawings in Germany and Italy, the Prints and Drawings Collection of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Kupferstichkabinett der Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien) will now present the survey in Vienna. The unique holdings comprising works by artists such as the Olivier brothers, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Joseph Führich, Leopold Kupelwieser, and Moritz von Schwind offer a confrontation with an intellectual world that still has a decisive impact on art.

Its Romanticist and Late Romanticist watercolors and drawings constitute a crucial part of the extensive treasures of the Academy's Prints and Drawings Collection in terms of quality and quantity. Founded to offer the Academy's students a hoard of references to explore, the collection of drawings and graphic works was extended considerably through donations and acquisitions especially in the 19th century and is the second-largest graphic art collection in Austria after the Albertina Vienna today. After having carried out a systematic study on Austrian and German Romanticism in the context of a research project, Cornelia Reiter has prepared her findings for an exhibition and published them in a comprehensive catalogue.

© Academy of Fine Arts Vienna|Joseph Anton Koch, Vietri am Golf von Salerno, 1795   Joseph Anton Koch, Vietri am Golf von Salerno, 1795
© Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

The sheets are arranged in the following thematic groups: landscapes, portraits, religious scenes, and subjects from literature, history, fairytales, and legends. The collection permits to present Joseph Anton Koch, the great inspirator of Romanticist landscape drawing, by showing early masterly watercolors by the artist stemming directly from the holdings of his estate. With these landscape watercolors by Koch, which are also rather complex as regards their contents, as a starting-point, the presentation of the Romanticist sacralization of the landscape spans from the results of Ferdinand Olivier's first visit to the Salzkammergut and watercolors by Caspar David Friedrich's sensitive student August Heinrich and the Nuremberg artist Christoph Erhard to Ludwig Richter's art of drawing which may strike us as an epitome of the Biedermeier style.
The section dedicated to portrait drawings centers around Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld's "Römisches Porträtbuch" ("Roman Book of Portraits") which assembles the entire circle of intellectuals and artists.

Program in the exhibition spaces

Thursday, 4 December 2003, 7 pm
Cornelia Reiter, curator of the exhibition
Romanticism and the Vienna Academy. From the revolutionary Lucas Brotherhood to institutionalized late Romanticism
lecture in German

Drawing on rich sources, the curator of the exhibition will explore the relationship of the Lucas Brotherhood and the later Nazarenes to the Vienna Academy. Reactions range from the almost militant rejection of the academic neoclassicist art ideal and practiced teaching methods to the installation of late Romanticist artists such as Kupelwieser and Führich as heads of a master-class at the very same institution. Quotations from letters by the protagonists of this reform movement elucidate the highly emotionalized situation.

Cornelia Reiter studied art history, history, and philosophy at Vienna and Innsbruck universities. 1990-1992 Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, where she worked on a general catalogue of 20th-century art and a number of exhibitions. 1993-1995 curator of the art collections of the Vienna Schottenstift. Since she has finished a research project on Anton Romako, she works in the Prints and Drawings Collection of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, concentrating on the Romanticist art of drawing.

Tuesday, 9 December 2003, 7 pm
Rainer Metzger, art historian, author,Vienna/Stuttgart
On Incomprehensibility. The Presence of Romanticism and the Romanticism of the Present
lecture in German

What is conceptuality? What does deconstruction mean? What is art beyond the arts? Romanticism has suggested answers to these questions which are still valid today. The answers are to be found in texts, especially those by Friedrich Schlegel, which is generally known - and, which is less known, in pictures, mainly in those by the Nazarenes.

Rainer Metzger, born in 1961. Art historian, critic, and author, lives in Vienna. Lectures art history at Stuttgart University. Corresponding member of the Vienna Secession. Selected publications: "Kunst in der Postmoderne - Dan Graham" (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 1996); "Der Tod bei der Arbeit. Bilder der Gewalt/Gewalt der Bilder - ein Führer für Wien" (Christian Brandstätter Verlag, Vienna 2003); "Buchstäblichkeit. Bild und Kunst in der Moderne" (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne 2003).

Thursday, 11 December 2003, 7 pm
Werner Hofmann, art historian, Hamburg
Mystics, Dreamers, Fools. Is there something like a romantic artist?
lecture in German

When artists set out in search of the infinite around 1800, they renounced the authorities that had cared for them and told them which way they should take: the church, the aristocracy, and the academies. This separation was of a more or less radical kind. The lecture will deal with this separation by focusing on artists whose revolt the exhibition in the Academy of Fine Arts does not examine. These include Goya, Blake, Fuessli, Runge, and Friedrich. Discussing Hogarth, Reynolds, and Goethe, the introduction to the lecture will offer a survey of important predecessors of this new self-consciousness. All evidence documents that the artist "not taken care of" and fending for himself comes upon new subjects all of which center around the individual's social alienation (exclusion).

Werner Hofmann, born in Vienna in 1928, studied art history at Vienna and Paris universities. 1960-1969 Director of the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts in Vienna; 1969-1990 Director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle. Lecturer at numerous universities. Selected books: Grundlagen der modernen Kunst, 1966; Kunst und Politik, 1969; Edouard Manet, Das Frühstück im Atelier. Augenblicke des Nachdenkens, 1985; Das entzweite Jahrhundert. Kunst zwischen 1750 und 1830, 1995.

Translation: mailWolfgang Astelbauer <astelbauer@aon.at>