Two exhibitions for a universal artist

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Hans Makart
Der Triumph der Ariadne, 1873-74
Öl auf Leinwand
476 x 784 cm
Belvedere, Wien




On June 9, 2011 two exhibitions dedicated to Hans Makart will open in Vienna. The Belvedere is hosting a co-op exhibition with the Wien Museum, simply entitled Makart, while the Wien Museum itself will open its doors for Makart - An Artist Rules the City. No other 19th century artist shaped this epoch like Hans Makart. He gradually came to symbolize it, before finally being immortalized in the annals of history as the man who lent the period its name. Called to Vienna by the imperial court as an emerging artistic talent, Makart quickly made a name for himself in the city. His pictures were popular with the emerging middle classes, and a commission soon became an indication of a person's upstanding reputation and place in society.

Makart intuitively understood how to maximize the new opportunities that opened up during the birth of the industrial age, harnessing them to popularize his works and develop his own distinctive aesthetic vernacular. His emblematic pictures and motifs held a mirror to the age, attracting national and international critical acclaim. Makart's treatment of the operas of Richard Wagner in his paintings reveals his appreciation of other contemporary artistic and cultural developments. Gottfried Semper's designs triggered something in Makart's artistic imagination, kindling a lifelong interest in the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk or total work of art.

The Wien Museum's exhibition at the Künstlerhaus looks at the complex relationships between the artist, and the city and society he lived in. As a universal artist and the most influential designer of the Ringstrassen era, his ideas held sway beyond the world of painting, shaping opera and theater, interior furnishings and even fashion. The Makart style is epitomized by and revolves around the workshop, a location designated by Makart as a place for visual representation and self-expression. The exhibition will present major works from his Vienna years alongside paintings that served as drafts for scenery paintings and theater curtains, as well as fashion designs, architectural models and interiors.


Jun 9-Oct 9, 2011
Belvedere, Lower Belvedere
Rennweg 6, 3rd district

Makart - An Artist Rules the City

Jun 9-Oct 16, 2011
Wien Museum at the Künstlerhaus
Karlsplatz 5, 1st district


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