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Art Diary

Gods, Heroes and Traitors: The History Image around 1800

26 May 2023

By the late 18th century, history painting had become firmly entrenched at the pinnacle of the hierarchy of genres. This exhibition at the Albertina Museum in Vienna (2 June–27 August) brings together works by painters such as Jacques-Louis David, Henry Fuseli and Joseph Anton Koch, to explore the variety of ways in which they took on the challenge of measuring their art against grand subjects from the Bible, from mythology or from classical history. Highlights include monumental works such as The Combat of Diomedes (1776) by Jacques-Louis David, depicting an episode from the Trojan War, while smaller-scale works such as Fuseli’s Teiresias foretells the Future to Odysseus (1780–85) reveals the Swiss artist’s fascination with Homer’s The Odyssey. Find out more on the Albertina’s website.

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The Combat of Diomedes (1776), Jacques-Louis David. Albertina, Vienna

Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto (1789–90), Heinrich Friedrich Füger. Albertina, Vienna

Teiresias Foretells the Future to Odysseus (1780–85), Henry Fuseli. Albertina, Vienna

Tancred baptising Clorinda (1770), Angelica Kauffman. Albertina, Vienna