Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 (Hardback)

Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 (Hardback)



Gemma Blackshaw is Reader in Art History at Plymouth University. She is co-author of Madness and Modernity: Mental Illness and the Visual Arts in Vienna 1900 (2009).

Edmund de Waal is an artist, curator, art critic and writer, and the author of The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010).

Published to accompany the exhibition Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 at the National Gallery, London, from 9 October 2013 – 12 January 2014.

Portraiture is the genre most closely identified with the flourishing of modern art in fin-de-siècle Vienna. Working to the demands of the ‘New Viennese’ – upwardly mobile, middle-class patrons with immigrant histories – artists focused on the image of the individual. From the commemorative to the critical, the cautious to the radical, their portraits chart the changing fortunes of men, women and children facing the distinctly modern challenge of living in one of the most diverse cities of its time.

‘Vienna 1900’ is often viewed as a time when the avant-garde pushed the boundaries in art. Yet this book tells a more complex and ultimately more interesting story, tracing the roots of modernism back to the early nineteenth century. It also presents lesser-known women and Jewish artists alongside Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele, giving a more complete portrait of the city and its art.


  • On Stage: The New Viennese
  • Past Times and Present Anxieties at the Galerie Miethke
  • Biedermeier Modern: Representing Family Values
  • Portraying Viennese Beauty: Makart and Klimt
  • Klimt, Schiele and Schönberg: Self Portraits
  • Women Artists and Portraiture in Vienna 1900
  • Imaging the Jew: A Clash of Civilisations
  • A Beautiful Corpse: Vienna’s Fascination with Death

Product Code 1034208
Authors Gemma Blackshaw, Edmund de Waal
colour Illustrations 140
Contributors Tag Gronberg, Julie M. Johnson, Doris H. Lehmann, Elana Shapira, Sabine Wieber
Dimensions 289 x 220 mm
format Hardback
ISBN 9781857095616
pages 216
published Sep 2013
publisher National Gallery Company
words 42000
GTIN 9781857095616
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