Broncia Koller-Pinell can claim the rare achievement of being both an accomplished artist and an influential sponsor and supporter of the arts. An exhibition at Lower Belvedere does justice to both roles, particularly her involvement with the Wiener Moderne.
- Major works from across her career
- …also in dialogue with art by contemporaries
- e.g. Egon Schiele & Koloman Moser
- Explores her impact as patron of the arts, too
- Runs Mar 15 – Sept 8, 2024
- Book Lower Belvedere tickets* online
- See also
An artist and her network
(Broncia Koller-Pinell, self-portrait from around 1905; press photo © Landessammlungen NÖ)
Turn of the century Vienna might be held up as an era of creativity and intellectual progress, but women had yet to gain full voting rights. Art, like most spheres of life at the time, remained firmly male dominated.
As such, female artists faced a significant extra hurdle on the way to prominence. Which adds an impressive edge to the achievements of Broncia Koller-Pinell (1863-1934).
Born in Sanok, Galicia (now modern-day Poland, but then part of Austria-Hungary), Koller-Pinell moved to Vienna as a young child where she spent much of the rest of her life.
Although already exhibiting works in her late twenties, Koller-Pinell’s artistic star reached its zenith with her involvement in the Wiener Moderne and particularly a group of artists around Gustav Klimt.
Koller-Pinell participated, for example, in the legendary Kunstschau exhibition of 1908 organised by Klimt and the group, where her art shared a venue with a certain golden painting we know as The Kiss.
This association with a pioneering art movement came about both through Koller-Pinell’s own artistic contributions, but also socially. She married Hugo Koller, and the relatively wealthy couple served as enablers and catalysts for others.
Their residence(s), for example, became a regular meeting place for artists and other creatives, including Gustav and Alma Mahler (whose daughter was briefly married to Koller-Pinell’s son).
(Might be just me, but is there a hint of Klimt in this landscape? Broncia Koller-Pinell, Orange grove on the French Riviera, 1903; press photo © Belvedere, Wien)
Koller-Pinell moved in a circle of contemporaries and friends that featured such personalities as Klimt, Koloman Moser, Egon Schiele and Josef Hoffmann and nurtured mutual influence and exchange. Hoffman even redesigned the family’s country property.
The exhibition at Lower Belvedere reflects this dual role.
So we see highlights from Koller-Pinell’s own oeuvre and follow her stylistic evolution from the Munich School through Impressionism and beyond into New Objectivity.
The exhibition presents this evolution in the context of that vibrant artistic environment within which Koller-Pinell played a prominent role. Her works appear in dialogue with those by the likes of Schiele and Moser (and even Koller-Pinell’s own daughter, Silvia, who became an accomplished artist in her own right).
Equally, we learn of Koller-Pinell’s impact as a patron along with her husband.
I’ll add more detail once I’ve had a chance to view the exhibition.
Dates, tickets & tips
Enjoy exploring Koller-Pinell’s work and influence from March 15th to September 8th, 2024. A ticket for or from Lower Belvedere includes access to the special exhibitions within.
(Booking service provided by Tiqets.com*, who I am an affiliate of)
For a bonus Broncia or two, so to speak, visit:
- The Who Cares? exhibition in the Jewish Museum, which has her unfinished work Mother with Child from c. 1900 on display
- The permanent Vienna 1900 exhibition at the Leopold Museum, which has at least one Koller-Pinell if I recall right and is a top address for the wider Wiener Moderne anyway
Needless to say, dipping deeper into the artistic side of that particular era is relatively easy in Vienna.
Upper Belvedere has the Vienna 1900 section of its permanent art exhibition, for example, with its world-leading Klimt collection. As mentioned, the Leopold Museum has a focus on that time period, as does the MAK museum.
Schiele’s presence in Vienna’s art museums seems to grow each year. The Leopold Museum is your top alternative, but last time I visited the Albertina permanent exhibition, Egon had a whole room to himself (and a special exhibition expected in late 2024).
How to get there
Just follow the travel advice at the end of the Belvedere directions page.
Address: Rennweg 6, 1030 Vienna