THE FANTASTIC ART OF VIENNA
Great and Timeless Paintings from a Realm of Laughter and Light, of Brooding and Darkness
By Alessandra Comini
“Comini is one of the most compellingly readable art historians writing today.” —Publishers Weekly
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Art, music, literature, and science in Vienna at the turn of the last century presented a series of wrenching dualities: reality and illusion, sexuality and death, the external world and the internal self. Celebrated art historian Alessandra Comini explores in a lively, authoritative text the demonic origins of the 1000-year-old Habsburg Empire, easternmost outpost of Christendom against the dreaded Ottoman Turks. Escape from death encouraged a flight from reality and a predilection for the fantastic. Strauss waltzes inspired a collective escapism while a conquering Napoleon entered the city—twice. Vienna’s fantastic heritage inspired composer Arnold Schönberg, author Hugo von Hofmannsthal, physician Sigmund Freud, and invigorated the work of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, Anton Romako, Gustav Klimt, Alfred Kubin, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, and the Fantastic Realism of Arnulf Rainer and Friedrich Hundertwasser.
Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, Alessandra Comini was awarded Austria’s Grand Medal of Honor for her books on Viennese artists Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Her Egon Schiele’s Portraits was nominated for the National Book Award and her The Changing Image of Beethoven is used in classrooms around the country. Both books in new editions are now available from Sunstone Press as well as Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Schiele in Prison. Comini’s travels, recorded in her memoir, In Passionate Pursuit, also from Sunstone Press, extend from Europe to Antarctica and are reflected in her Megan Crespi Mystery Series: The Munch Murders, Killing for Klimt, The Schiele Slaughters, The Kokoschka Capers, and The Kollwitz Calamities, all published by Sunstone Press.
PREFACE TO NEW EDITION
8 1/2 X 11, Illustrated