Koloman Moser | Venus in der Grotte | um 1914 © Leopold Museum, Wien, Inv. 1999

Koloman Moser, Venus in the Grotto

c.1914

With his departure from the Wiener Werkstätte in 1907, Kolo Moser returned to the medium of his early years – painting. A visit to Ferdinand Hodler in Geneva in 1913, whom Moser first met in 1903 at the Vienna Secession, heralded a stylistic change in his oeuvre toward more austere, two-dimensional compositions and a reduced, artificial palette, as well as an increasingly symbolic pathos of the pictorial content. This radiant goddess of love is framed by an oval, symbolizing a grotto. Her depiction is reminiscent of personifications of the wind and sea that were typically engraved onto ancient Roman sarcophagi.

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