‘Modigliani – Picasso. The Primitivist Revolution’ and ‘In the Age of Durer’
2nd – 5th December 2021
What better time to visit Vienna than in the lead up to Christmas when the city is sparkling. We will delve deep into the medieval streets and emerge in the splendour of Viennese baroque. We will spend time looking at Secession art from painting and architecture to glass and furniture and visit two excellent exhibitions, one on Modigliani and the other on the Age of Durer.
Christmas markets will fill the squares with the scent of warm spices, roasting almonds and gluhwein. There will be time for Viennese coffee houses and we hope we will be able to see an opera at the Vienna State Opera House.
Thursday 2nd December
We will arrive in the early afternoon and our private coach will take us to the Hotel Beethoven. After settling in we will go for an introductory walk, looking at buildings across Viennese history, starting with the medieval streets and hidden courtyards of the old city centre. We will pass through the court and discuss how the city expanded in the 19th Century. Finally we shall look at the origins of modernism. Dinner will be at an excellent restaurant near the hotel.
Friday 3rd December
We will spend the morning in the Albertina Museum which houses an excellent collection of over one million drawings and prints from the late Gothic to the present. From Michelangelo and Dürer to Rembrandt and Rubens, and from Klimt and Schiele to Picasso. The display is on rotation due to their delicate nature, so we do not yet know which works we will see. The museum is also hosting the exhibition ‘Modigliani – Picasso. The Primitivist Revolution’ which will also display Constantin Brâncuşi and André Derain. For the first time, Modigliani will not be regarded as a bohemian under the influence of alcohol and drugs, as a pleasing portraitist and pioneer of Art Déco, but as a leading artist of the avant-garde who carried the revolution of Primitivism far into the twentieth century.
After lunch we will visit the Karlskirche, the most outstanding Baroque church in Vienna, dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, one of the great counter-reformers of the sixteenth century. We will then see Otto Wagner’s Metro pavilions, each a tiny golden Art Nouveau Palace, before ending near the hotel with the Secession building. This was built as an exhibition hall in 1897 by Joseph Maria Olbrich as an architectural manifesto for the Vienna. Dinner at a great restaurant with a balcony overlooking the Cathedral.
Saturday 4th December
In the morning we will visit the Belvedere Museum, starting with the ‘Age of Durer: Austria at the Gate of the Renaissance’ exhibition in the lower belvedere. Whilst, despite the title, there may not be any Durer on display, we will see Lucas Cranach the Elder and Albrecht Altdorfer– a couple of the big names found among the contemporaries of Albrecht Durer active in Austria around 1500 and the decades that followed. We will then head up to the Upper Belvedere where we will focus on the works of Gustav Klimt.
The afternoon will be spent in the Museum of Applied Arts to look at some wonderful examples of international Art Nouveau and local Austrian arts and crafts from the Secessionist movement. We will also discuss the work of Mary Macdonald Mackintosh and her husband Charles Rennie, and their influence on Klimt and the Wiener Werkstätte.
We will end the day at Otto Wagner’s striking Post Office Savings Bank, an important example of early modern architecture, using reinforced concrete to ingenious effect and breaking away from the Art Nouveau and Neoclassicim of Wagner’s earlier work. Our last supper will be at Richard’s favourite restaurant, an intimate place with a lovely atmosphere.
Sunday 5th December
The morning will be spent at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the largest art museum in the country. The palatial building on the Ringstrasse houses one of the most remarkable collections of paintings in Europe from across the ages. Highlights will include works by Bruegel the Elder, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Velázquez. Following this we will have time for a final lunch before some free time to explore the city further or visit the Christmas markets. We will then take our coach to the airport for our flight back to London.
The trip will be led by Richard Stemp who loves and knows Vienna extremely well.
We will stay at the Neoclassical Hotel Beethoven, a 4* hotel located right in the heart of the city, close to the vibrant Naschmarkt, Vienna’s best known market, and just a few minutes’ walk from the Vienna State Opera.
We hope to see an opera one evening at the Vienna State Opera House. However, the programme has not yet been published for December, but we will keep an eye out and let you know as soon as it is.
There will be a private airport transfer to connect with the recommended flights.
The distances aren’t vast in Vienna but you will need to be happy with a quite a bit of walking and standing in galleries. Comfortable shoes are a must.
We do not book the flights thus allowing you to travel to suit your budget, use airmiles, travel between different airports or on different dates. We strongly recommend buying the following international flights with BA:
Thursday 2nd December London Heathrow 11.00 – 14.10 Vienna BA0700
Sunday 5th December Vienna 18.45 – 20.10 London Heathrow BA0705
The fees are £1470 which includes accommodation and breakfast, three lunches, transfers for the recommended flight, transport when connected with teaching, entrance fees, exhibition tickets, tuition, reading lists and local advice. The single room supplement is £150 (double room for single use). Please state on the form if you would be happy to share. Not included are the flights, all suppers and travel insurance. The group will not exceed 10 people.
We will send our safety protocol ahead of the trip. If for reasons of Covid-19 we need to cancel the trip up to 48 hours before the start, we will refund all money except for any payments made on non-refundable entrance tickets.
The online application form should be returned with a deposit of £600.00. Please call 01379 871800 or email email@example.com if you have any queries.
NB you must buy your own flights.