Databáze uměleckých výstav v českých zemích 1820 – 1950

Eduard Veith

Date:1. November 1903 – 29. November 1903

Place: Brno, Gerstbauer Foundation House

Exhibition design:Camillo Palleta

Organizer:Mährischer Kunstverein

Conception:Camillo Palleta


Beginning in 1903, Mährischer Kunstverein occupied the exhibition space in Gerstbauer Foundation House (Gerstbauersches Stiftungshaus). As exhibitions were now held all year round, the Kunstverein was able to leave the concept of annual exhibitions behind and instead focus on thematic exhibitions showcasing individual art associations, groups and artists. The solo shows were usually devoted to Moravian artists. In addition to a limited number of quality artists who lived permanently in their native Moravia, and especially Brno, the Kunstverein also presented the work of top Moravian artists who lived in nearby Vienna, from where they sent their works to the Kunstverein’s exhibition. In its new home, the Kunstverien organized several group exhibitions and also a few solo shows. It usually exhibited works by two or three artists at the same time, dividing its three halls between them. The first solo exhibition in the proper sense of the word – all the three halls contained works by one artist – was dedicated to Eduard Veith (1858–1925). The choice of this painter corresponded with the Mährischer Kunstverein’s aim to present the work of the most important contemporary Moravian artists. Veith, a Vienna-based Brno native, was well known as an author of wall paintings and curtains in theatres and other public buildings. By the mid-1880s he was the most sought-after collaborator at the architectural studio Fellner and Helmer. He created, among other things, monumental painted decorations for their Volkstheater and Ronacher Theatre in Vienna, Metropoltheater in Berlin and the German Theatre in Prague. In 1892 he received the second most important art award in Vienna, the Archduke Carl Ludwig Medal, for his winning designs of wall paintings in the Prague Rudolfinum. But his allegorical and symbolist easel paintings were also successful. In 1893, Veith received the Reichel Prize at the Vienna Künstlerhaus and in 1896 a gold medal for his painting The Fountain of Youth. In 1901 he won the highest Viennese artistic award, the Imperial Prize, for his painting The Beginning of Autumn (he had been nominated for this prize four times before that). In 1903 he received a gold medal for his painting Rest in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. In addition to these awards, he also received gold medals at exhibitions in Berlin, Antwerp and Paris.

When the Mährischer Kunstverein’s Brno exhibition was held, Veith was at the height of his fame. In this period, the emerging modernism had yet to push large-format allegorical and symbolist painting, the basis of Veith’s artistic career, to the margins. Symbolist themes, which Veith used to modernize his otherwise traditional painting style, helped delay his retreat from the limelight until after 1910. Veith exhibited 77 paintings and drawings at the 1903 Brno exhibition, aiming to present his oeuvre in the widest possible scope. The rooms in the Gerstbauer Foundation House were filled with oil paintings, watercolours, pastels and drawings. The audience had the opportunity to see paintings with religious and symbolist themes, portraits and small portrait studies. Because it was impossible to exhibit Veith’s wall paintings, the Mährischer Kunstverein showcased several of his mural designs. The exhibited artifacts also included one tapestry design. Visitors could view both old and new works by Veith. The latter included the painting Rest, awarded the gold medal in the Vienna Künstlerhaus six months earlier. With a sale price of CZK 6,000, this was one of the two most expensive paintings at the exhibition. The painting Winter’s Flight, offered for the same price, had been featured at the 1899 Christmas exhibition in the Vienna Künstlerhaus and the German National Exhibition in Düsseldorf in 1902. The Winter’s Flight was purchased by the Moravian Provincial Committee and now belongs to the Moravian Gallery, the successor of the Moravian Museum’s Picture Gallery.

Eduard Veith's exhibition was the first show of a single artist that Mährischer Kunstverein organized after it moved away from annual group exhibitions and toward monothematic shows. As such, it gives us an idea about the direction the Kunstverein wanted to take with this new approach. Firstly, the show was devoted to a Moravian painter. Secondly, this was a renowned artist whose success was Europe-wide. Thirdly, the Kunstverein managed to obtain Veith’s important paintings from the most recent period which he could have presented in more prestigious European cultural centres than Brno. In this sense, the Kunstverein’s leaders proved to be capable organizers.  

Robert Janás

Further reading

Silvia Freimann, Eduard Veith (1858–1925), Kommentierter Werkkatalog mit Werkverzeichnis, Berlin 2011

Robert Janás, Eduard Veith – Útěk zimy, Brno v minulosti a dnes XXVI, Brno 2013, pp. 127–143

Marie Mžyková, Eduard Veith, Sny o štěstí, Nový Jičín 2013

Exhibiting authors

Eduard Veith. Mährischer Kunst-Verein Brünn.


Publisher: Mährischer Kunstverein

Place and year of publication: Brno 1903

Reviews in the press

-h., Eduard Veith-Ausstellung I., Tagesbote LIII, 1903, Nr. 525, Abendblatt, 10. 11., pp. 1–2


-h., Eduard Veith-Ausstellung II., Tagesbote LIII, 1903, Nr. 527, Abendblatt, 11. 11., pp. 1–2

Brief notes about the exhibition

Anonymous author, Theater und Kunst, Tagesbote LIII, 1903, no. 509, Abendblatt, 31. 10., p. 4; no. 513, Abendblatt, 3. 11., p. 4; no. 521, Abendblatt, 7. 11., pp. 10–11; no. 522, Morgenblatt, 8. 11., p. 3; no. 523, Abendblatt, 9. 11., p. 4; no. 533, Abendblatt, 14. 11., p. 4; no. 545, Abendblatt, 21. 11., p. 4; no. 549, Abendblatt, 24. 11., p. 4; no. 555, Abendblatt, 27. 11., p. 4; no. 557, Abendblatt, 28. 11., p. 4

Anonymous author, (Kunstausstellung), Brünner Zeitung, 1903, no. 255, 6. 11., p. 3

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