The Belvedere owns a remarkable collection of European modern art. The Moderne Galerie's original agenda of embedding Austrian art in the international context is thus particularly well catered for in this part of the collection. The development of Austrian mood impressionism by Emil Jacob Schindler, Rudolf Ribarz, Robert Russ and so forth ran parallel to French impressionism, which is represented in works by Monet, Manet, Pissarro and Renoir.
Quite in contrast to the purportedly "crucial" themes of historical painting, around the mid-nineteenth century some painters concentrated more and more on unadorned landscapes. The works of impressionism are remarkable for the narrow section of reality as subject, the precise observation of light and weather, and the technically refined, judicious use of colour.
The visit to the International Art Exhibition in Munich in 1869 had reaffirmed Austrian artists in their aspirations to paint simple motifs from the suburbs or landscapes in the environs of Vienna.
Hence Emil Jacob Schindler painted Steamship Station at Kaisermühlen on the Danube(1871/72) almost at the same time as Camille Pissarro produced his Street in Pontoise(1868), and Olga Wisinger-Florian painted Blooming Poppy (1895/1900) shortly before Claude Monet completed his Path in Monet’s Garden in Giverny (1902). These examples are evidence of the synchronised parallels in the phenomenon of plein-air painting in Austria and France.
The spirit infusing the original agenda of the "Moderne Galerie" is now being upheld in the Belvedere by presenting native artists together with artists from abroad: Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas represent impressionism, while the Still Life with Blue Bottle, Sugar Bowl and Apples by Paul Cézanne and the The Plain at Auvers by Vincent van Gogh already break ground into the modern age.
The Berlin Secession, led by Max Liebermann, was completely committed to impressionism. Superlative examples by Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth and Max Slevogt manifest the free flourish of the brush, the bold use of colour and the intimate detailing that are typical of German impressionism.
Carl Schuch, one of the most individual and independent Austrian artists, seems to remain aloof from all the typical trends of his time. He was born in 1846 and belonged to the generation of the "Mood Impressionists", but his style was more influenced by the realism of Courbet. In 1871. he worked in a studio commune with Wilhelm Leibl and Wilhelm Trübner in Munich. His outstanding still life paintings are most reminiscent of similar works by Cézanne.
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