Exhibition Belvedere: IN-SIGHT


Sketches and studies in oils hold a special appeal due to their immediacy and often
unorthodox subject matter and individuality. Mostly on a small scale, they originated as
drafts for potential patrons, evolving during the course of the nineteenth century into
works of art in their own right. The Belvedere is dedicating an IN-SIGHT exhibition to this unique art form.

Olga Wisinger-Florian, View of the Village Kahlenberger Dorf, not dated

Curator Rolf Johannsen places a focus on the development of the oil sketch from the early nineteenth century through to the start of the twentieth century. Prior to this, sketches and studies had served a specific function. They were preparatory studies for larger paintings and could underpin the contract between painter and patron. In the nineteenth century, however, they attained a new autonomy. Artists used them to capture everyday, allegedly ordinary situations or the rapidly changing moods of weather and light. The exhibition thus takes three themes as its focus: clouds – landscape – figures.

Emil Jakob Schindler, The Coast of Sylt, 1892
Photo: Johannes Stoll © Belvedere, Vienna

Oil sketches and studies are characterized by swift, fleeting brushwork on a small format – the
merely “hinted at”, the private and intimate. Although generally not intended for exhibitions and sales, like autographs, sketches and studies soon found collectors and connoisseurs who
wanted to secure the authentic immediacy of the artist’s hand. In this show, the Belvedere invites visitors to discover this rarely displayed art form.

Theodor von Hörmann, Field of Sainfoin near Znaim (Znojmo) II, um 1893
Photo: Johannes Stoll © Belvedere, Vienna

The exhibition is composed entirely from the Belvedere’s collection and includes works by
Caspar David Friedrich, Adalbert Stifter, Friedrich Gauermann, August von Pettenkofen,
Wilhelm Busch, Hans von Marées, Anton Romako, Theodor von Hörmann, Hans Makart, Emil Jakob Schindler, Olga Wisinger-Florian, Tina Blau, Carl Moll, and Koloman Moser.

The exhibition in the series IN-SIGHT was made possible through the generous support of the Dorotheum.

Curator: Rolf Johannsen

Cover foto: Caspar David Friedrich, Cloudy Evening Sky, 1824, Photo: Johannes Stoll © Belvedere, Vienna


In-Sisght. Fast and Fluid.
The Fascination of the Oil Sketch.
Exhibition date: 23 May to 8 September 2019
Location: Upper Belvedere, Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna

Read now more about the exhibition and our myARTMAGAZINE!

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