I hope y’all have been enjoying my new “Nightcap” series. Many of the articles eventually end up at RealClearHistory (my bad ass editor has the final say-so), so I thought I’d be doing y’all a favor by sharing them here, in smaller doses, first.
This BBC article on Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, a couple of Austrian artists, won’t make the cut (RCH‘s readers don’t really enjoy art history), but I thought you’d love it. Vienna was the center of intellectual life for not only economists and philosophers in the late 19th-early 20th centuries, but also for artists and other academics and critics as well.
[…] a decision was made to permanently display the paintings in a gallery rather than on the ceiling [because they were so scandalous]. Klimt was furious and insisted on returning his advances and keeping the paintings. The request was refused but after a dramatic standoff in which Klimt allegedly held off removal men with a shotgun, the Ministry eventually capitulated.
Tragically the paintings were destroyed by retreating SS forces in 1945 and all that remains are hazy black and white photographs.
How could you not like the guy?