Art, Architecture and Design in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna

History of Art, School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

College of Arts and Law


Code 24000

Level of study Second Year

Credit value 20

Semester 1 or 2

Module description

This module will examine art, architecture and design produced in fin-de-Siècle Vienna. It will focus on Secessionist artists such as Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Koloman Moser, and will explore their work in relation to a series of social, cultural, psychological and literary issues using the work of writers such as Arthur Schnitzler and Stefan Zweig, and the sexologists Richard Krafft-Ebing and Otto Weininger. It will provide a deeper understanding of ‘modern’ Vienna with regards to the changing conditions of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at beginning of the twentieth century. The impact of design projects by Adolf Loss, Otto Wagner and the Wiener Werkstätte will also be investigated in the context of modernist architecture and design, and with particular reference to the notion of Gesamtkunstwerk. It will critically engage with the concept of ‘fin-de-siècle’ and ask how this ‘phenomenon’ may, or may not have, influenced an intense period of artistic production in Vienna and the rest of Europe. Although the course will primarily focus on art, architecture and design, it will also incorporate extracts and discussions on film, music and theatre where relevant.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and seminars