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Selected works from the
38th Annual Fine Arts Exhibition
June 2012

ORIENT AND OCCIDENT. Austrian Painters Travelling
Lower Belvedere, Vienna
29 June - 14 October
From 29 June the Lower Belvedere is focusing on Austrian painters in the Orient and Occident. In this exhibition over 120 works by more than 30 Austrian nineteenth-century artists take the visitor on a journey from the Hungarian plains or Puszta to the far reaches of the Indian Ocean.

In the course of the nineteenth century, many Austrian artists set out in search of new artistic challenges in distant climes. The exhibition Orient and Occident at the Lower Belvedere follows in the footsteps of these artist explorers. Visitors will be taken on a visual journey that starts in Hungary and leads through the Balkans, Greece, Constantinople, the Holy Land and Egypt and on to India and Sri Lanka.

Over 30 artists will be presented in the exhibition. One of the key Austrian painters in the Orient was Leopold Carl Müller: the Viennese painter spent nine winters in Egypt and produced numerous views of markets, landscape studies and depictions of figures. Alois Schönn, Alphons Mielich, Ludwig Libay, Bernhard Fiedler and other Austrian artists likewise journeyed to the countries of the Orient. Other painters, like Rudolf Swoboda and Hermann von Königsbrun, even ventured as far as India and today’s Sri Lanka. While Rudolf von Alt went on study trips to the Dalmatian coast, August von Pettenkofen, Otto von Thoren and Johann Gualbert Raffalt sought new inspiration from neighboring Hungary in the area around Szolnok and the Puszta. This flat landscape with its low horizon and rich palette of nature’s atmospheres attracted many other artists later on, as well, including Tina Blau.

Furthermore, the exhibition highlights a stylistic shift in Austrian painting. In the early decades of the nineteenth century, the tendency was to paint in a style of matter-of-fact, documentary realism, while in the second half of the nineteenth century artists increasingly sought to capture the optical effects of these foreign climes. Key considerations were the painterly representation of sunlight and of heat, and the impact this had on nature. A new approach to painting is similarly reflected in new picture formats, for instance the virtually “cinemascopic” landscape views by Otto von Thoren and Joseph Selleny or the postcard-sized genre scenes by August von Pettenkofen and Thomas Ender.

Artists featuring in the exhibition include: Carl Agricola, Rudolf von Alt, Julius von Blaas the Elder, Joseph von Berres-Perez, Tina Blau-Lang, Thomas Ender, Bernhard Fiedler, Hans Ludwig Fischer, Otto Friedrich, Theodor Hörmann, Josef Hoffmann, Carl Rudolf Huber, Eugen Jettel, Isidor Kaufmann, Hermann Freiherr von Königsbrun, Johann Victor Krämer, Karl Ludwig Libay, Alphons Leopold Mielich, Leopold Carl Müller, Franz Xaver von Pausinger, August von Pettenkofen, Johann Gualbert Raffalt, Eugen von Ransonnet-Villez, Gustav Ranzoni, Hubert Sattler, Emil Jakob Schindler, Teutwart Schmitson, Joseph Selleny, Franz Xaver Simm, Emanuel Stöckler, Otto (Karl Kasimir) Ritter von Thoren, August Theodor Schöfft, Friedrich Alois Schönn, Jakob Waltmann, Charles (Carl) Wilda.
Friedrich Alois Schönn . market of Constantinople, undated . oil on canvas . 74 x 111 cm Belvedere, Vienna. © Belvedere, Vienna Emil Jacob SCHINDLER. Coastline in Dalmatia, 1890. Oil on wood 71 x 106 cm. Belvedere, Vienna © Belvedere, Vienna