Vienna Secession Style (1897-1914)

The Vienna Secession Style began as a reaction to the conservatism of the artistic institutions in the Austrian capital during the 19th century.

VER SACRUM (1898-1899)- Ver Sacrum was useful to the movement to publish square versions of modernist Austrians' works.
VER SACRUM (1898-1899)

Image source: by Susanlenox

Secession History

Another cover of Ver Sacrum, with three cats on the cover.
Ver Sacrum with three cats on the cover

Image source: by Bibliothèques de Nancy- Patrimoine

The Secession grew out of a dissatisfaction of artists with the system of expositions of contemporary artworks in the city during the 1890s. These shows were scheduled by the Association of Austrian Artists, which ran the Kunstlerhaus (Artists’ House) favoring the conservative artists who built up a majority of its members, generally discouraging efforts in the decorative and applied arts.

Secession Architecture

Joseph Maria Olbrich was an influent architect of the Austrian Art Nouveau and one of the founders of the Vienna Secession. Immediately Olbrich started to design their headquarters. This building was finished in 1898 and caused a sensation in Vienna. Bold and simple, it consisted of juxtaposed huge blocks and had a particular orientalizing aspect. However, its cupola of metal openwork with abundant floral ornaments was unmistakably Art Nouveau in quality.

Secession hall: A large white buildings with little to no windows.
Vienna Secession building by Joseph Maria Olbrich -(Secession hall)

Image source: by Jorge Lascar

Josef Hoffmann was an Austrian architect and designer of consumer goods. In 1906, Hoffmann projected his first important building on the outskirts of Vienna, the Sanatorium Purkersdorf.

Sanatorium Purkersdorf located in Vienna. A large white building with rectangular windows.
Sanatorium Purkersdorf in Vienna
A close up of the Sanatorium Purkersdorf garden entrance.
The Sanatorium Purkersdorf- Garden side entrance.

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One of the most transformative projects by Otto Wagner was the Austrian Postal Savings Bank, which took ten years to plan. Built with reinforced concrete, metal, stone, and glass, it celebrates light, air, and the pureness of functionalism with the new usage of materials. His two private mansions, Villa Wagner I and Villa Wagner II were built for each one of his marriages.

Otter Wagner villa entrance. Four thick columns hold up the porch, and there is a grand staircase that approaches the front door on either side.
Wagner Villa I (1886–88).

Image source: by Muesse

Interior of Villa Wagner with elaborate stain glass windows and colorful imagery of nature.
Villa Wagner I (1886–88)

Image source: by Thomas Ledl

Secession Painters

Gustav Klimt, famous for his highly decorative painting style, was the principal figure of the Viennese Art Nouveau movement within the graphic arts. Klimt’s “Golden Phase,” started with his Pallas Athena in 1898 and made extensive use of ornamental gold leaf, reminiscent of Byzantine mosaics. Among the most representative of works are “Judith,” “Danae,” and “The Kiss.”

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), The Kiss (Lovers), 1907–1908 : A painting of two abstract figures, one of which is kissing the other.
The Kiss (1908) – Gustav Klimt

Images source: by Tulip Hysteria / Go to albums

Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), Judith and the Head of Holofernes (Judith I), 1901: A painting of a dark-haired woman with exposed breasts and gold details surrounding her.
Judith and the Head of Holofernes (1901) – Gustav Klimt

Images source: by Tulip Hysteria / Go to albums

Josef Maria Auchentaller was an Austrian artist associated with the Vienna Secession and the Art Nouveau style. He gave his contribution to the magazine Ver Sacrum, a Secessionist publication, and his work featured primarily floral patterns and linear drawings influenced by Japanese woodcuts, popular during that time.

Bunte Bände (Portrait of Maria),1912: A girl in a colorful dress with two blue bows in hair that holds a book in her left hand.
Bunte Bände (Portrait of Maria), 1912. by Josef Maria Auchentaller

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