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God and the Devil in the Details

God and the Devil in the Details

High above, a raven sits atop a medieval torture wheel, scraps of rags still hanging from the last victim. On the ground, a man in white stands watching, as a vast procession moves across a green and brown plain. In the middle of the procession, if you peer closely, you can see Christ carrying the […]

Lucian Freud’s Naked Truth

Lucian Freud’s Naked Truth

The poster causes double-takes all over town. It shows a painting with two figures lying naked together. Their faces and bodies are twisted away from one another, the man lies confidently like someone who has been satisfied, and the woman is curled up, on the edge of the bed. My first impression was the uneasy […]

Success at the Kunstkammer

One month after its grand opening, the first statistics look more than promising for the managing director Paul Frey. Of the over 50,000 visitors the Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM) in March, a large number of the Viennese among them came especially for the collection of opulent objects. This was not the only triumph: Never before in […]

Gilded Through History

Gilded Through History

It’s dark. We see a man entering a gallery whose dozens of display cases are all empty, save one. He approaches it, eyes wide with wonder at the golden object topped with two reclining figures in front of him: The Benvenuto Cellini Salt Cellar. While he gazes at it, he begins talking to the piece, […]

New Year’s Eve at KHM

On 31 Dec., the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum) is dedicated to dining and dancing, filling the cupola hall with culinary delights of their New Year’s buffet to a background of piano music. As a highlight, the guests can visit the exhibition Wintermärchen until 23:00. It comprises over 180 works by artists like Bruegel, Monet, van […]

The Scenic Route: On Location in Vienna

The Scenic Route: On Location in Vienna

It’s mid-January 2012: a regular night at the Café Weidinger at the intersection of Gablenzgasse and Neubaugürtel – old friends playing billiards, customers sipping on warm drinks, laughter and debate in equal volume. Tonight however, we’re all under the watchful eye of noted American photographer and documentary filmmaker Jem Cohen, capturing footage for Museum Hours, […]

The Taming of the Cold

The days are growing shorter. It is already getting dark as I leave the office; the air stings my face and I wrap up my woolly scarf tighter as I head down the street toward my tram stop on the Ringstrasse. It’s almost winter; what did I expect? Suddenly, the warm aroma of roasting chestnuts […]

Restitution And Remorse

The Art of Painting by the world-renowned 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer hangs serenely, where it has hung for 63 years, in the grand Picture Galleries of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. However it may not be there much longer, if the Austrian courts uphold a restitution claim of the family who had owned […]

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