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The Japanese Salon, Villa Hügel, Hietzing, Vienna

Rudolf von Alt1855

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

This salon exhibits a riot of Chinese/Japanese motifs. The walls are hung with wallpaper panels decorated with leaves, birds and large ceramic figures. A lantern, suspended from a palmette canopy centered in the ceiling, is designed in a large circular fish scale pattern. The black japannned and cane furniture is typical of the Victorian period. The floor covering appears to simulate tatami matting. Two large seated statues in costume flank French doors on the right. A mysterious seated figure in the left foreground holds a mask to his face with one hand; an unidentified object, perhaps also a mask, is in the other hand.

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Details

  • Title: The Japanese Salon, Villa Hügel, Hietzing, Vienna
  • Creator: Rudolf von Alt
  • Date Created: 1855
  • Signed: Lower left in pen and black watercolor: Rudolf Alt (1)855
  • Provenance: Eugene V. Thaw Collection; Thomas Le Caire, Hamburg; Ernst August Herzog von Cumberland and Braunschweig-Luneberg - thence by descent; August Ludwig Wilhelm Herzog von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel
  • Paper Support: White paper
  • Inscribed: Illegible inscription, partially obscured, at lower right in brush and brown watercolor on the pedestal of the crouching ceramic figure at left. Another inscription appears at far right on the floor in front of the french door, in pen and black ink : Tunga sebo' [?]
  • Exhibitions: New York, NY - Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, House Proud: Nineteenth-Century Watercolor Interiors from the Thaw Collection, August 12, 2008-January 25, 2009.
  • Dimensions: Frame H x W x D: 60 x 75.6 x 2.5 cm (23 5/8 x 29 3/4 x 1 in.)Sheet: 38.4 x 53.2 cm (15 1/8 x 20 15/16 in.)
  • Bibliography: Gail S. Davidson et al., House Proud, Nineteenth-Century Watercolor Interiors from the Thaw Collection (New York: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 2008), 36, fig. 10; 121, pl. 56.
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Thaw Collection
  • Medium: Brush and watercolor and gouache, graphite on white paper

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