Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Inspiration from Vienna

I have always admitted that travel was a passion second only to my needlepoint and that, over the years, many, many of my designs are inspired by traditional designs, colours, architecture, all things that I have been fortunate to see on my various travels.

Private Tea Room With Group
Vienna, where I went shortly before Christmas was no exception; it was my first visit and I was lucky enough to be with a small group that were particularly art/architecture orientated.  While it was only four days we had an excellent guide and packed in masses – including coffee and Sacher-Torte at the famous CafĂ© Sacher!


Sacher Torte
Packing delights in, we went straight from the airport to the Museum Hundertwasser, probably the most exciting and unique ‘village’ I have ever seen.  Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928 - 2000) was an artist architect and here is a cross section of examples of his ecological commitment.  The floor tiles undulate as though there has just been volcanic action, the furniture explodes with colour and his artwork (of which there are some great postcards) are itching to be represented in needlepoint.  Do take a look at some of his art on the web, I hope you will share with my excitement. http://www.kunsthauswien.com/

On the following days we were treated to visits to many of the museums – particularly the vast and very impressive Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Belvedere with pleasant walks through the streets with their impressive architecture.   But another highlight for me was to see many of the works by Gustav Klimt, so often reproduced in posters, cards and of course, needlepoint;  the richness of the apparel work by the figures represented, the extensive use of gold leaf and his women wrapped in furs are so sensuous  they are a natural for exciting stitching.  But actually seeing the paintings was far more exciting.
http://www.klimt.com/
Again excellent web sites to visit for both the history behind the man and examples of his work.

The two of his works that captivated me were the opportunity to see his Beethoven Frieze, measuring over 34 meters in length and created in 1902 for a major group show.  This mural now is installed in the Secession exhibition space.   The most famous  Klimt is undeniably The Kiss which of course is both beautiful and thought provoking;  standing in front of it one realises that while their bodies are entwined her face is actually turned away – was she less enthusiastic, was she simply tolerating his attention, questions, questions?    However I do recommend, should you have the chance, enjoy many of his other works, to me they are equally beautiful.

I find Short trips with a like-minded group and good guide are lovely;  I left wanting more, I discovered the works by Egon Schiele, I understood how original paintings are superior to reproductions and I came home anxious to reread ‘The Hare with the Amber Eye’ and had made some new friends.

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