Klimt, Kaffe und Kuchen

Klimt, Kaffe und Kuchen in that order.  This is how my long weekend in Vienna panned out.  The city made a great impact on my senses, although very humid and hot my daughter and I walked to all the shrines to the master painter Gustav Klimt.  I have seen many of his works ten years ago at the Tate Liverpool exhibition, but seeing the Beethoven frieze in situ within the Secession building in Vienna gave me goosebumps.  I think it’s not only the works of art, it’s the history, the art nouveau period, the lifestyle, the history of some of the paintings belonging to wealthy jewish families and then stolen by the Nazis.

The Kiss, or at least a copy of it was bought for me on the occasion of my second wedding anniversary, I fell in love it as did thousands of others at the time 1971.  I vowed then that one day I would visit Vienna, but I never though it would take me this long !!!  Seeing the Kiss in the flesh, I cannot say it was a disappointment far from it, but because I have seen it everywhere for years it had slightly lost its allure, it still was amazing to see his mark making up close, it was not as fine as I had imagined but standing back from it, exquisite, they all were, including some landscapes, especially those at the Leopold Museum.  This museum had a wondrous collection that we walked around for a long time, Picasso, Richter, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Munch and a small amount of Klimt’s sketches.  From what I understand a lot of them are being prepared for and exhibition in london later this year.

The Vienna Riding school and the amazing arena setting, tall ceilings, huge tall columns and chandeliers.  Horse and riders are so elegant.  The large parks and squares, large wide streets along with interesting winding lanes, the winter palace with its splendid arches and sculptures, this is a city to remember, I would love to go back

After all the walking, 1300 steps each day I felt I deserved a treat so it was a trip to a Viennese coffee-house for Kaffe und Kuchen and it didn’t fail to delight

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Ballet Russe

Thanks Mr Bowery, it was because of you I came across this image, I thought it was a costume of yours, but then I read it was in fact a costume for the Ballet Russe designed back in 1935 !

Leon Bakst drawings I have always admired, and recently when I watched the Chanel / Stravinsky story my interest in the Ballet Russe became more prominent in my life again. I find the colours so inspiring.   Diaghilev was a very clever man, he put together composers and artists the most avant-garde of their time, Braque, Stravinsky, Chanel, Picasso, Matisse and Nijinsky the famous dancer and produced the most inspiring and challenging ballets.  He was not at all afraid to break with convention and his passion paid off, however at his death it limped along but was never the same again.

The boldness, the colours, the loose shapes, ballet costumes had never been seen like this before.  I just love them, the colours sing out, I so would love to have been around to see their opening nights, especially THE RITES OF SPRING, apparently this caused a riot and they had to close down the theatre!!  It’s hard to believe that now, but here is a collection of some the hundreds of costumes that were designed and made especially for each ballet.

Could they be transformed into paper sculptures, could the colour combinations be transformed into my design work and paintings, somehow they will have an influence, my creative mind is like a sponge, its absorbs everything around me so that one day it will be expressed in some form again as I continue along this creative path