József Sisa on Ludwig Hevesi and art in fin-de-siècle Vienna

Ludwig Hevesi and art in fin-de-siècle Vienna

Review of:

Ilona Sármány-Parsons, Bécs művészeti élete Ferenc József korában, ahogy Hevesi Lajos látta [The artistic life in Vienna in Franz Joseph’s time, as seen by Lajos Hevesi]. Budapest: Balassi Kiadó, 2019, 472 pp, 336 col. and b. & w. illus., bibliography, index, HUF 6,900 hdbk, ISBN 978-963-456-057-9.

József Sisa (University of Pécs) 24/JS1

Abstract: Following a biographical outline of Ludwig Hevesi’s career, the volume chronicles the exhibition life of Vienna from the 1870s to 1910 with the help of Hevesi’s art criticism feuilletons examined in strict chronological order. His critiques are contextualized in contemporary art journalism, confronting his views with those of his colleagues (e.g. Albert Ilg, Franz Adalbert Seligmann, Hermann Bahr, Franz Servaes or occasionally Karl Kraus). Apart from the reconstruction of the permanently changing individual styles of the painters, new light is cast on the social network of the artistic sphere, sponsorship and the art market from the 1890s onwards. The decisive role of Hevesi in assisting the breakthrough of the Viennese Secession and in shaping the Austrian Canon in painting is demonstrated with an abundance of quotations from contemporary sources.

Key words: modern art, nineteenth century, art and society, art criticism, art exhibitions, art patronage in Vienna, Secession in Vienna, Ludwig Hevesi, art critic