Kokoschka: A Love Story

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Dresden is one of the largest cities in Germany and a major European art center. Click below to find a few photos of Dresden from 1886-1936. Also located with the photographs is a map of Germany. You may locate Dresden in eastern Germany near the border of the Czech Republic.

This painting by Oskar Kokoschka is entitled Dresden: Augustus Bridge with Steamer, 1923.


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

St. Teresa de Avila

St. Teresa de Avila was born on March 28, 1515. As a young child she tried to run away with her brother Rodrigo to seek martyrdom, but was caught by her uncle, forcing the children to return home. In 1531, her father brought her to the Augustinian nuns at Santa Maria de Gracia for guidance. In 1532 she returned home to live with her sister, but her time at the convent made her realize that she wanted to become a nun. On November 2, 1535, she entered the Carmelite Monestary.

After Teresa devoted her life to God, she became very ill for many years. Her eventual cure was attributed to the healing of St. Joseph. During these years of suffering, Teresa practiced mental prayer and received mystical visions from God. This period of her life of mystical experiences lasted for 18 years.

Teresa made the decision to always take the most perfect course in her life, but her current monastary was not the best place to lead the life to which she felt called. During her years as a Carmelite nun, Teresa was given permission to reform and establish her own convents of nuns. She eventually established her own groups of nuns and friars in several locations across Spain.

Teresa wrote several books about her personal spiritual experiences, including Interior Castle and Way of Perfection. St. Teresa de Avila died in Alba on October 4, 1582.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hulda Paintings

Take a look at these two paintings of Hulda by OK.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tamara Karsavina

Tamara Karsavina (1885-1978) was a Russian prima ballerina. She trained at the Imperial Theatre School and made her debut at the Maryinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in 1902. She was often a partnered with dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.

Karsavina created principal rolls in ballets such as Les Sylphides, Petrouchka, Firebird, Le Spectre de la Rose, and Daphnis and Chloe. Karsavina danced with the Maryinsky Theatre until 1929.

In 1920 she helped found the Royal Academy of Dancing in London. Karsavina has written several books about her experiences including Theatre Street.

Click below to find a few images of Tamara Karsavina in various roles:

Friday, January 12, 2007

Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler was born to Bernard Mahler and Marie Herrmann on July 7, 1860. At the age of three he was already playing simple tunes and folk songs on the accordian. Because of this accomplishment, he was allowed to take piano lessons and he gave his first public concert at the age of ten. By the time he was fifteen, he auditioned and was accepted into the Vienna Conservatory and began his studies in September 1875, studying piano and composition.

After graduation from school, he gave piano lessons to earn a living. Eventually he landed a job at Bad Hall conducting operettas for the patients there. After his work at Bad Hall, he was offered a full-time contract with the Royal Theatre in Kassel. There he became known for his own unique approach to the classics, his interest in stage productions beyond just the music, and his expectation of discipline.

Mahler had continued success with his career conducting in Hamburg and Budapest, but he was gaining a reputation for his irritability and his dictatorial way of leading. In February 1897 he converted to Catholicism because his Jewish background was becoming a hindrance within the community in which he worked.

Mahler married Alma Maria Schindler in Vienna on March 9, 1902. Alma was twenty-one-and-a-half years old and Mahler was forty-two. The couple had two girls. Maria Anna was born on November 3, 1903 and Anna Maria (known as "Guckie") was born on June 15, 1904. Maria Anna died of scarlet fever and diphtheria in 1907. Mahler discovered he had a heart condition in July 1907. He died from cardiac problems on May 18, 1911.

Click below for some pictures of Gustav Mahler and his family with Alma:

Click below for some additional non-scholarly information:

Click for a link to additional family photos of the Mahler family:

Most of the above information was taken from the following source:
Beaumont, Antony. Gustav Mahler: Letters to His Wife. Ithaca, NY: Cornell, 1995.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Burgtheater and Max Burckhard

Burgtheater began in 1741, and is the leading playhouse in Austria. Burgtheater is the second-oldest theatre still in existence (second only to The Comedie Francaise), according to the Burgtheater website. The theatre was the former imperial court theatre in Austria and one of the most important theatres in Europe. The theatre seats 1175, with additional standing room space for 81 people. Burgtheater consists of a main theatre and three additional smaller locations, all located in Vienna.

Max Burckhard, a lawyer, became director of the theatre on May 12, 1890. He remained director of the theatre for eight years. He brought a fresh perspective to the theatre and introduced Sunday matinees at a reduced cost in order to widen their audience. He later remarked that the less wealthy audiences were the most "critically acute" (179). While director, he remodeled the auditorium in the spring and summer of 1897. He was dismissed from his role of director on January 20, 1898 because he closed the theatre mid-season for renovations.

Click below for a few images of the theatre and a photo of Burckhard:

Click for some non-scholarly information about Max Burckhard:

The information on Max Burckhard was taken from the following source:
Yates, W. E. Theatre in Vienna: A Critical History, 1776-1995. Cambridge: Cambridge U, 1996.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

More Oskar Kokoschka photos

Here is a bigger collection of Kokoschka photographs, from childhood to latter adulthood:

Gustav Klimt

Gustav Klimt was born on July 14, 1862 in Baumgarten, Austria, near Vienna. He attended the Vienna Public Art School (Kunstgewerbeschule) at the age of 14 and opened a studio with his brother Ernst in 1883. He received training as an architectural decorator and early in his career he painted murals for churches, theatres and museums. He also painted mural decorations on the staircases at Burgtheater.

Klimt became co-founder of the Vienna Secession Movement in 1897, a movement that gave exposure to unconventional young artists and gave freedom from traditional culture.

In 1900, Klimt began to paint portraits of women. Klimt's influences include Byzantine mosaics, classical Greek and Egyptian inspirations.

Klimt suffered from a stroke on January 11, 1918 and died from pneumonia on February 6th at the age of 56.

Click below for some photos of Klimt and a few of his paintings:

Click on the link below for some non-scholarly information about Klimt in his relation to Alma Mahler: