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2 years ago
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Vienna, city of paradox.

The travails of Vienna’s modern artists reveal something important about the city’s cultural climate: not only the leftover petit-bourgeois Biedermeier aesthetic sensibilities of the mid-19th century, but also the ceaseless pitting of the creative individual against highly conservative institutions and institutional attitudes. Klimt was censured by the scandalised officials of the University of Vienna after being commissioned to paint three large murals for the faculties of medicine, philosophy and law, and took the paintings back. Schiele was arrested and imprisoned for painting nude portraits of young girls. Kokoschka, branded a ‘public terror’, was expelled from the Kunstgewerbeschule (Vienna’s School of Arts and Crafts) for his iconoclastic views.