November 7, 2011

Vienna 1, Parliament

Rudolf von Alt (1812–1905) was an Austrian painter, draughtsman, and printmaker known for his city scenes, landscapes, and interiors. Shown here is Alt’s ink drawing with white heightening of the parliament building in Vienna, signed and dated 1885 in the lower right-hand corner. Located in the Innere Stadt (Inner City), or the first district of Vienna (“Vienna 1”), the neoclassical structure was built in 1874–83 by Danish architect Baron Theophil Edvard von Hansen (1813–91). It served as the meeting place of the two chambers of the Reichsrat (Austrian Imperial Council) until the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy in 1918. The drawing is part of the original artwork for the Kronprinzenwerk (The crown prince’s work), the short name for a 24-volume illustrated encyclopedia of all the Crown lands and peoples of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It was published in 1886–1902 under the title Die österreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild (The Austro-Hungarian monarchy in word and picture) in both German and Hungarian. The project was initiated by Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, and coordinated by him until his death in 1889. It reflects his faith in liberalism, science, and progress. Rudolf’s vision was to depict without partiality and as equal all peoples and ethnographic groups of the monarchy.

Hutsul Wedding

This pen-and-ink drawing of a late-19th-century Hutsul wedding is by Thaddäus Rybkowski (1848–1926), a Polish artist whose work featured scenes of rural life in Galicia and Poland. Born in Russian Poland, Rybkowski was educated at the Krakow School of Art. He later came to Vienna, where he studied in the studio of Professor Leopold Löffler-Radymno. The Hutsuls are a seminomadic ethno-cultural group that for centuries has inhabited the region of the Carpathian Mountains. The Hutsul language is considered to be a dialect of Ukrainian, strongly influenced by Polish and Romanian. Rybkowski’s drawing captures many aspects of traditional Hutsul culture, which was known for its elaborate weddings and colorful and intricately made clothing, arts, and crafts. The drawing is part of the original artwork for the Kronprinzenwerk (The crown prince’s work), the short name for a 24-volume illustrated encyclopedia of all the Crown lands and peoples of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It was published in 1886–1902 under the title Die österreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild (The Austro-Hungarian monarchy in word and picture) in both German and Hungarian. The project was initiated by Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, and coordinated by him until his death in 1889. It reflects his faith in liberalism, science, and progress. Rudolf’s vision was to depict without partiality and as equal all peoples and ethnographic groups of the monarchy.

View of Sarajevo

Gyula (Julius) Háry (1864–1946) was a Hungarian painter and graphic artist, best known for his detailed watercolors of picturesque scenes in Austria-Hungary and Italy. He was born in Zalaegerszeg, in western Hungary, and studied art at the Budapest School for Applied Arts. Háry first went to Sarajevo, the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in 1884, six years after control of the province was transferred from the Ottoman Empire to Austria-Hungary under the terms of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin. He made several return visits to Sarajevo and produced a number of watercolors and drawings of the city. This signed ink drawing heightened with white is part of the original artwork for the Kronprinzenwerk (The crown prince’s work), the short name for a 24-volume illustrated encyclopedia of all the Crown lands and peoples of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It was published in 1886–1902 under the title Die österreichisch-ungarische Monarchie in Wort und Bild (The Austro-Hungarian monarchy in word and picture) in both German and Hungarian. The project was initiated by Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, and coordinated by him until his death in 1889. It reflects his faith in liberalism, science, and progress. Rudolf’s vision was to depict without partiality and as equal all peoples and ethnographic groups of the monarchy. This drawing was included in the volume dedicated to Bosnia and Herzegovina, published in 1901.

Opening Proclamation from University Authorities Prior to an Academic Term

The University of Vienna was founded by Duke Rudolph IV of Austria in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world. As at other European universities, the primary language of scholarship was Latin. This proclamation in Latin is by Petrus Muchitsch, a classical philologist and theologian who twice served as rector of the university, in 1577–78 and again in 1578. In this greeting, Petrus invites the students of the university to resume their studies following the end of the 1578 epidemic of plague in Vienna. Printed in the form of a broadside, the document includes one of the oldest surviving lecture schedules of the university, listing courses in the Faculty of Theology, the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Philosophy, and Languages, and indicating which courses were for baccalaureate students and masters students separately, and which were joint lectures.

Exlibris

Wolfgangus Lazius is the Latinized name of Wolfgang Laz (1514–65), an Austrian humanist, historian, cartographer, and physician who produced the first set of maps of the hereditary lands of the Austrian crown. Lazius was professor of medicine on the faculty of the University of Vienna, where he was several times dean and rector. Emperor Ferdinand I appointed him his personal physician, historiographer, and adviser, as well as curator of the imperial collections. Like many 16th century scholars trained in the sciences, Lazius was drawn to the emerging art of cartography. He undertook scientific and geographic expeditions throughout the empire, gathering data for his maps, which he personally drew and engraved. Shown here is Lazius’s self-made bookplate, which features a skull with a label and text below, a coat of arms, and sketches of books and maps produced by Lazius, including Chorographia Austriae (or Typi Chorografici Provinciarum Austriae). Lazius’s chorography (from the Greek choros meaning “country” and grapho meaning “write”) is considered the oldest atlas of Austria. It was published in Vienna in 1561, indicating that the bookplate was designed some time after that. The etching is printed on waste paper. The back side shows a fragment of a map of Greece made by Lazius.

Folk Dances of Japan

This hand-painted picture scroll contains illustrations of eight kinds of Japanese folk dances: Sumiyoshi Odori, a dance handed down at the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Osaka; Oise Odori, a dance from Ise Province, where the Ise Shrine is sacred to Amaterasu, the principal female deity of Shinto; Kake Odori, in which a group of people dance toward the edge of a village or town to exorcise its evil sprits; Kokiriko Odori, in which folk dancers clack bamboo sticks in each hand; Komachi Odori, in which a group of girls in beautiful clothes dance to drum music at the Festival of the Weaver; Karako Odori, a children's dance in the Chinese fashion; Hōsai Odori, a prayer-chanting dance originated by the crazy priest, Hōsai; and Sashimono Odori, a dance with battle flags imitating those used on battlefields. The illustrations are all painted in a style that predates ukiyo-e (mostly produced from the mid-17th century), and the scroll has brief comic descriptions in verse in the upper part. The scroll was drawn in the style of a popular painter, whose name is unknown, and is historical evidence of folk dances performed presumably in the early 17th century.