The rebel artists of Vienna overwhelmed the artistic establishment of Europe at the end of the 19th century, having seceded from the traditional Viennese institutions of fine art and named themselves the Vienna Secession. Their works shocked a conservative public, but their daring sensibilities and dedication to the applied arts and architecture soon brought them an enthusiastic following and wealthy patronage. The boldly modernist paintings of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and others were matched by the buildings and applied designs of architects such as Joseph Maria Olbrich, who created the Secession Building as an architectural manifesto for the group.
This classic book, now updated and with additional colour illustrations and a completely new introductory chapter, brilliantly traces the course of this influential artistic movement.
Peter Vergo is a leading expert on modern Russian, German and Austrian art, and the recipient of the Golden Order of Merit, bestowed by the Republic of Austria for services to Austrian art. His other publications include Kandinsky: Complete Writings and Twentieth-Century German Painting: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. His two books about the relationship between art and music, That Divine Order and The Music of Painting, were published by Phaidon in 2005 and 2010. Vergo is Professor of Art History and Theory at the University of Essex.