Oh, Vienna

In April 2006, my friend John and I went to Vienna for a week.

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A grand and beautiful city with Baroque and Secessionist architecture.

One place we went to see was Majolica House. . . . . .

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an apartment house designed by the architect Otto Wagner and built in 1899. Wagner shocked the Vienna community when he left the Künsterhaus which had recommended him for this commission and joined the Secessionists. The two apartment houses on Linke Wienzeile, no. 38 and 40, built near the center of Vienna, date from this period. At the time they were felt to be “hideous beyond measure.” Number 40 on the left, the so-called Majolica, was named after the flowered tile which covers the magnificent facade.

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I noticed the front door was open. . . . . . .

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so we went inside and up the stairs.

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There were some painters and decorators in one of the empty apartments, so we went in and had a look. Not much to see, but the best part was going out onto the balcony.

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The Secession House

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This is one of the keyworks of Viennese Art Nouveau architecture and was planned and built by Joseph Maria Olbricht, a student of Otto Wagner, to serve the needs of an artist association Olbricht himself belonged to. The Secessionists were interested in uniting the separate art forms of sculpture, architecture, painting and music aiming for a ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ – a comprehensive work of art.

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Laurel leaf garlands decorate the facade and front, masks of the three gorgons preside over the entrance symbolizing the three art forms of architecture, sculpture and painting.

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Above the entrance you can read the motto of the Secessionists:

“Der Zeit ihre Kunst. Der Kunst ihre Freiheit.”

(To the Age its Art. To Art its Freedom)

Click on the album below to see a few more photos of Austria

All album photos and most on this post were taken by J. Rose

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