Koloman Moser, Venus in the Grotto
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.