The Secession Building

In 1897 a group of 19 progressive artists and architects broke away from the official body known as the Kunstlerhaus to form what they call the Secession, where they seceded from the traditional styles.

The group was led by the painter Gustav Klimt, but Otto Wagner, one of the most distinguished architects of the traditional style rapidly joined  the movement. They were seceding not just from the traditional historicism but also from the what we call Art Nouveau, which the Austrians call the Jugendstil, which had become very fashionable. The Secession managed to acquire a plot just off the Ring Strasse where one of their younger members, Joseph Olbrich designed their headquarters.

The Secession house seen from the front. The most notable feature is the golden ball on the top, known generally as the ‘golden cabbage’.

 

  The interior hall is all stark and white and the adjacent rooms are used for temporary exhibitions of modern Art

 

 

 

 


Downstairs is seen most famous piece of work,  the Beethoven frieze, painted by Klimt himself as a tribute to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  It is very disjointed, and is also set high up, and can only be seen properly by using a scaffold,  as a film crew are doing here

 

The most famous ornaments are the large urns flanking the entrance door. Notice the tortoises which form the feet.

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