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"Vollkommen Passende Gefässe" Und "Gefässe Fremder Form" Die Kritik Des Kunsthistorikers Albert Ilg (1847-1896) an Der Architektur Der Wiener Ringstrasse, Ihr Identitätspolitischer Hintergrund Und Ihre Kunstpolitischen Auswirkungen

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image of East Central Europe

When the new building of the Burgtheater on the Viennese Ringstrasse was inaugurated in 1888, the Austrian art historian Albert Ilg wrote a series of newspaper articles in which he praised the arrangement of the interior and its creator Carl Hasenauer, but devoted only a few critical words to the façade without even mentioning the name of the architect, Gottfried Semper. These articles are, with others, typical of Ilg's negative assessment of the architecture of the Ringstrasse, but for a full understanding of Ilg's stance it is necessary to relate it to his general positions on the history of art and politics. This article reveals that Ilg's position was not primarily motivated by aesthetic principles, but by identity politics, especially by his belief that the Baroque style was the only appropriate, supranational architectural style for the Habsburg monarchy.


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