The arresting visual beauty of “A Hidden Life,” which was shot by Joerg Widmer, is essential to its own argument, and to Franz’s ethical and spiritual rebuttal to the concerns of his persecutors and would-be allies. The topography of the valley is spectacular, but so are the churches and cathedrals. Even the cells and offices are infused with an aesthetic intensity at once sensual and picturesque.
The hallmarks of Malick’s later style are here: the upward tilt of the camera to capture new vistas of sky and landscape; the brisk gliding along rivers and roads; the elegant cutting between the human and natural worlds; the reverence for music and the mistrust of speech. (The score is by James Newton Howard.)
This volume is a treasure trove of photography from the last 175 years, following the evolution of Vienna from imperial capital to modern metropolis. Like a visual walk through time and cityscape, hundreds of carefully curated pictures trace the developments in Vienna’s built environment and the cultural and historical trends they reflect, whether the urban Gesamtkunstwerk of the 19th-century Ringstrasse or the experiments of “Red Vienna” in the 1920s, when the city had a social democrat government for the first time.
Vienna combines drama and elegance like no other. For centuries the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the stately city on the Danube, has been defined by vast palaces and imperial grandeur—but behind the Baroque opulence, Vienna is also a place of genteel coffee house culture, epicurean tradition, and a heritage of both delicate and daring music, art, and design, from Johann Strauss to Egon Schiele, from Gustav Mahler to Josef Hoffmann.
Caravaggio & Bernini: The Discovery of Emotions features some of the artists’ greatest works, but also charts their influence on others. And that influence proved to be powerful and enduring. Caravaggistas spread across Europe like termites. And so we could call this exhibition a battle of the swaggerers, the pomp of a very eclectic brand of Viennese historicism facing off against the theatrical push and preen of two great Italians.
From almost the beginning, Caravaggio, that man who arrived in Rome in the 1590s, is completely outrageous. Whom did he think were his principal patrons? Churchmen, of course. Did they care that he depicted John the Baptist in an extraordinary painting, circa 1602, as a carefree, lascivious, curly-haired boy with the cheekiest of grins imaginable?
Beethoven moved nearly 70 times while living in Vienna. Two of his former homes are open to the public, and many more are marked with commemorative plaques.
High above Vienna’s historic center, at the edge of the hilly Vienna Woods, the city’s Beethoven Museum, is housed in a onetime bakery complex dating back to the late Middle Ages, with an 18th-century annex containing a small apartment where Beethoven spent the summer of 1802. While living here, he composed his tragic “Tempest” piano sonata and began work on his 3rd Symphony, the “Eroica.”
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN is as Viennese as apple strudel. Though born in Bonn, Germany in 1770, he moved to the Austrian capital when he was in his early 20s, and then spent the rest of his 56 years changing the course of Western music from the city on the Danube. A quirky, cantankerous celebrity in his own time, he premiered his groundbreaking symphonies and concertos in Vienna’s grand palaces, escaped the summer heat in what are now its sleepy suburbs, and moved around between dozens of supposedly squalid apartments that sprawl across much of the city.