150908: Residenzgalerie Salzburg: Sin. Sweet vice – Venial morale in fine arts

Residenzgalerie Salzburg: Sin. Sweet vice – Venial morale in fine arts Indoctrination, not prurience Only a few feet away from the Domplatz in Salzburg, where “Jedermann” is performed during the Salzburg Festival, you encounter the topics sin, vice, and virtues in art at the Residenzgalerie. This recurrent theme, which seems to combine allegorical figures from the play with the depiction of the seven sins, is found on an advertisement: the word "sin", in large red letters, above a naked, lasciviously draped odalisque reminds of stencils reading “censored”. But those who think they might be able to secretly indulge in sin at this exhibit will be disappointed. This exhibit is all about indoctrination, not prurience. The woodcut created around 1480 or 1490 titled “The seven mortal sins and the devil” was meant to intimidate those who intended to leave the path of virtue. In the 17th century the consumption of tobacco (smoking and sniffing) was seen as a sign of idleness and not as a means to relax. If one had known back then that smoking causes vascular problems and is more addictive than alcohol, painters like Theodor Rombouts or Gerard van Honthorst would have depicted a man with an amputated leg rather than pipe smoking, card-playing drunkards in a pub. Today students from the technical college in Salzburg show us what they perceive as sin and vice. And their creations, not only from an art historical perspective, take us miles away from the Fall of Man and the banishment from paradise, as well as Alfred Kubin’s gripping depictions. The light red coloring of the walls, non-intrusively composed with alternating colors, is remarkably well chosen. The explanations may be informative, but they are not sufficiently satisfying. Could too much thirst for knowledge be indecent? Residenzgalerie Salzburg 5010 Salzburg, Residenzplatz 1, until 02.11.08 www.residenzgalerie.at

Residenzgalerie Salzburg
5010 Salzburg, Residenzplatz 1
Tel: +43(0) 662/ 840451 -0, Fax: +43(0) 662/ 840451 -16
Email: residenzgalerie@salzburg.gv.at
Öffnungszeiten: täglich 10.00 - 17.00 Uhr, Mo geschlossen

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