Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Who's That Lady?

Why it's the Venus of Willendorf, looking simply amazing for a 25,000 year old (she doesn't look a day over 20,000!). Or maybe it's Judith, looking all hot for the Hof (Holofornes that is, not David Hasselhoff!)

These are few of the amazing ladies we were introduced to on our fourth day in Vienna.

The day started, as usual, at the delightful Le Moet Cafe at the Hotel Le Meridien. Then, Shirley, Dick and I got in a red Porsche and sped off to the Belvedere Palace. Ok, it was a Porsche built public transportation tram, but it was red! The Belvedere is a lovely palace with a great view of the city (Belvedere means beautiful view....did not know that). The highlight at the Belvedere is it's room of art by home town boy Gustav Klimt. Most famous is The Kiss, but I was entranced by his Judith I. The biblical heroine is portrayed in a starkly erotic pose, draped in gold, lips parted and eyes aflutter. In her hand is the head of Holofornes. Klimt was a ladies man, but this work indicated he had a healthy fear of women as well. The fact that he followed the works of his contemporary Freud can be seen in the psychological underpinnings in his work.

Lunch was at the venerable Cafe Sperl, and then off to the Natural History Museum to see the Venus of Willendorf. The Venus is a 25,000 year old clay figurine of a voluptuous female form. Most likely, it was used as a fertility idol. It was simply amazing to see a piece of art that ancient. Although small, it represented the height of artistic achievement at that time. Breathtaking.

We capped the day off with an excellent, traditional Viennese dinner at the Rathauskeller in the neo-Gothic city hall. The ornate vaulted ceilings of the cellar provided a romantic backdrop for a fine meal. And, bonus, there was a charming Christmas Market in front of the City Hall to enjoy.

Can't wait what (or who) day five brings!

Frank (filling in for Dick)


Paul said...

I read that the Venus may also have been associated with a mushroom cult. For some reason, that captures my imagination... behold, our scared mushroom soup. :-)

Denise said...

Nice job, Frank. Glad you all are having such a good time!

Piglet's Buddy said...

It all sounds very wonderful. What a great adventure.