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True to Life

Realist Painting from 1850 to 1950

Is Realism really true to life? What are the common traits of Realism over the course of decades? The new special exhibition at the Upper Belvedere covers a period spanning the mid-19th century to the 1950s and reveals the multifaceted nature of an artistic approach that began as a mirror of its social environment. To this day, works with realistic tendencies continue to inspire through their impressive painting techniques and diversity of subject matter.


Curated by Kerstin Jesse and Franz Smola.

Tickets

Regular
Regular
€ 15,90 instead of € 18,00 on site
Seniors over 65
Seniors over 65
€ 13,40 instead of € 15,50 on site
Students under 26
Students under 26
€ 13,40 instead of € 15,50 on site
Children and youth under 19
Children and youth under 19
€ 0,00
Visitors with a valid Vienna City Card
Visitors with a valid Vienna City Card
€ 14,50
Visitors with a Disability Card / Assistance
Visitors with a Disability Card / Assistance
€ 3,00
Groups of 10 or more visitors
Groups of 10 or more visitors
€ 15,90

Upper Belvedere

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday
10 am - 6 pm
Address

Upper Belvedere
Prinz Eugen-Straße 27
1030 Vienna
Austria

Impressions

The Exhibition

The exhibition True to Life was conceived following a foray through the Belvedere's collection. In this process of discovery, works from the mid-19th century to the 1950s devoted to the realistic representation of various subject matters were unearthed, and this selection of works is now being presented in illuminating juxtaposition. What characteristic features and themes emerge from the various Realist orientations over this period? To answer this question, works of art from different eras have been brought into dialogue with one another. The show presents rarely exhibited paintings characterized by their verisimilitude. In many cases, this likeness to the real world is achieved through meticulous detail in the painting technique. Looking at what appears to be "real" also brings into focus the socio-analytical content of some of the works: realistic subjects, thus, also reflect social and societal realities.

The spectrum ranges from familiar genres, such as portraiture and still life, to highly complex issues such as the instrumentalization of realistic painting for political and social purposes. The large number of seldom-seen paintings includes Édouard Frédéric Wilhelm Richter's Portrait of an Oriental Woman (c. 1875); Emanuel Baschny's Man Reading (1905); Erich Miller-Hauenfels' Courtyard among Urban Houses (1934); and Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Mathilde Trau (c. 1893), which has been on permanent loan at the Belvedere since 2019.

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