Exhibition Against Klimt. "Nuda Veritas" and her defender Hermann Bahr at the Austrian Theater Museum in Vienna - from 10 May to 26 November 2012
Gustav Klimt’s famous and rarely exhibited painting "Nuda Veritas", created in 1899, was bequeathed to the Austrian Theater Museum as part of the estate of the Austrian author, dramatist, and theater and literary critic Hermann Bahr (1863–1934).
The Friedrich Schiller quotation inscribed above "The Naked Truth" is a statement advocating an uncompromising artistic truthfulness, which encapsulates the ethos of the Secession movement. As a close friend of the artist, Bahr had been able to acquired the "Nuda Veritas" at a discounted price. The picture represents the fraught relationships between art, critics, and the general public.
Hermann Bahr played a decisive role in publicizing the Secessionist movement from the outset. In 1902 he responded to the storm of controversy surrounding Klimt's works, and in particular the scandal over the faculty pictures, with his book "Against Klimt", a collection of writings vilifying Klimt and the art world in general.
The exhibition at the Austrian Theater Museum examines the following questions: What inspires Klimt to create his allegories? Which artistic and literary traditions come together in the different elements of this striking image? The exhibition aims to demonstrate how the outrage, criticism and enthusiasm that greeted the Avant Garde movement in Vienna around 1900 set the tone for how the early modernist works were received. It also aims to show how enlightening these controversies can be for our present times.
Photo: Exhibition Against Klimt, Nudas Veritas, 1899, source: www.wien.info