The Oxford historians' discovery of Vienna

Events & news

Last Days of the Raphael Exhibition in Vienna

The exhibition of 130 drawings and 17 paintings by Raphael at the Albertina in Vienna is the result of the cooperation between the Albertina and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Most of the drawings were displayed at a hugely successful exhibition in Oxford over the past summer. You can see our review of the Oxford…
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A Rubens Exhibition in Vienna: The Master as Student

Between 17 October 2017 and 21 January 2018, the Art History Museum in Vienna (the Kunsthistorisches, henceforth KH) is running an exhibition on the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). [caption id="attachment_2736" align="alignleft" width="169"] Exhibition poster inside the museum.[/caption] The title of the show, The Power of Transformation, refers to the main aim of the…
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The Vienna Raphael Drawings in Oxford: The Ashmolean Museum Exhibition 2017

The great art event in Oxford this summer is undoubtedly the exhibition of Raphael’s drawings at the Ashmolean Museum (June - September 2017). The vast majority of the drawings come from the impressive collection of the Ashmolean itself and from the Albertina Museum in Vienna. The show has received enthusiastic reviews – it’s been described…
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A Schiele Exhibition at the Albertina, Vienna (22 February – 18 June 2017)

The rediscovery of the Austrian artist Egon Schiele (1890-1918) is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the 1960s, it was still possible for the Burlington Magazine, one of the most highly respected art history journals, to describe Schiele’s paintings as “daubs on public lavatories.” Few nowadays would think of referring to Schiele’s works in such disparaging…
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The Putti in the Belvedere Palace Gardens in Vienna

The Belvedere Palace, the lavish summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy, is one of the most impressive Baroque palaces in Europe. The Upper Belvedere is more spectacular and slightly later in date than the Lower Belvedere. The two complexes are connected by the gardens, an outstanding example of Baroque landscape architecture. The wide stairs…
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The Sacher Café and Viennese High Society

Traditional coffee-culture was very much a bourgeois culture. Most Viennese coffee-houses catered for their usual clientele – middle-class, almost exclusively male, intellectual, and overwhelmingly Jewish (the last two often overlapped). In this sense, the café at the Sacher Hotel, founded in 1876, was a notable exception. It was at the Sacher that one could come…
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An Exhibition of Japanese Erotic Art at the MAK in Vienna (12.10.2016 – 29.01.2017): “Vile Pictures in the Best Style”

In 1859, on a visit to Japan, the American businessman Francis Hall was shown erotic Japanese prints, known as shunga. His reaction sums up the mainstream European attitude to shunga at the time and later. Hall called the prints, “vile pictures in the best Japanese style.” [caption id="attachment_2586" align="alignleft" width="422"] Shunga on painted handscroll, British…
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Coffee Culture in the 10th District

When I first arrived in Vienna, I was warned by well-meaning locals to keep away from the 10th district, an area wrought with crime and beset with danger. I later worked out that “crime” in Austria means something very different from “crime” in the U.S., for example. Austrians generally don’t think of crime in terms…
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The Café Museum and Modern Architecture

  Karlsplatz, the immense square in the centre of Vienna, is a good starting point for those who want to get a sense of some of the most interesting developments in Viennese architecture at the turn of the twentieth century. The square is, in fact, dominated by the grandiose Karlskirche, the famous Baroque church. [caption…
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The Café Mozart and The Third Man

  Along the Ring, not far from the Opera, is the Burg Kino, one of the cinemas for English speakers in Vienna. Whatever other films are on, there is usually an afternoon projection of The Third Man (1949), set in Vienna after the war. The script is by one of the great British novelists of…
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