Burgtheater: Ceiling panel of the State Staircase Landtmannseite

Ernst Klimt, Gustav Klimt, Franz von Matsch1886/1887


Vienna, Austria

Altogether there are ten autonomous paintings, one in each of the tympana that adorn the state staircases and five in each of the two wings.

While the cycle of paintings in the right staircase represents the evolution of the theatre and three classical playwrights, the left-hand side focuses on the themes of music, dance, medieval mystery plays and the ex-tempore stage.
All the scenes depict actors together with their audiences. In keeping with the spirit of the times the artists strove for historical accuracy, which manifests itself in such details as clothing, etc.

The cycle in the left-hand staircase consists of the "Altar of Apollo", "Ancient Ex-Tempore Actor" (Franz Matsch), "The Theatre at Taormina" (Gustav Klimt), “Medieval Mystery Play” (Franz Matsch) and "Clown on a Fairground Stage" (Ernst Klimt).


  • Title: Burgtheater: Ceiling panel of the State Staircase Landtmannseite
  • Creator: Gustav and Ernst Klimt, Franz Matsch
  • Date Created: 1886/1887
  • Location: Burgtheater Vienna: State Staircase Landtmannseite
  • Photographer: Georg Soulek

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