Myths of Romanticism - The New Heroes
In the political context of the Napoleonic Wars and the birth of nation states in Europe, there were art movements oriented towards the past and its myths and heroes. In Austria, these heroes were the early rulers of the Hapsburg dynasty. The religious romanticization of their heroic deeds and their deep union with the Catholic Church served objects of projection for the national identity in the newly established Austrian empire. Rudolph I. and Maximilian I of Hapsburg were the main protagonists of these glorifying historic paintings.
While sculpture and architecture were still adhering to the classic formal vocabulary of antiquity, the romanticist painters turned more and more towards the Middle Ages as an inspiration. Exhibits by Moritz v. Schwind, Joseph von Führich, Leopold Kupelwieser or Franz Pforr with his impressive The Entry of Emperor Rudolf of Hapsburg into Basle bear witness to the early conscience of an Austrian nation.
In our film Albertina Museum chief curator Christof Metzger reflects the interaction of art and power within the romanticist artworks on the Hapsburg myths.