You Devil! A Fairy Tale

Oct 2019 | Journals

With Halloween apologies to our flying bat friends, role-playing courtesy of the Vienna stage ca. 1894 pits the demons of the mirror’s Vanity and Indulgence against our better angels.

“Scene aus dem Ballet Rund um Wien” (Scene from the Ballet “Around Vienna”) by (Baron) Albert Freiherrn von Rothschild, Austrian: (1844-1911): 1896: Chine-collé photogravure from atelier k.u.k. Military Geographical Institute in Vienna. (11.1 x 13.9 | 16.0 x 23.6 cm) Published in the July,1896 issue of the Austrian photographic journal Photographische Correspondenz, ballerina Camilla Pagliero (1859-1925) examines herself in the mirror while trying on some jewelry while the allegorical forces of evil at left (Austrian stage actress Marie Schleinzer, (1874-1949) mistress to Archduke Otto of Austria) and good at far right (most likely Hedwig Haentjens, as an angel) make starring roles. Possessing “all the virtues of amateur photography”, the editors of the journal in the following rough translation from the original German stated this… “image is exceedingly characteristic, and the effects are so locked together that the most beautiful in the mirror-image confronts Freiherr von Rothschild with his image “blurred direction”. We rejoice in the example given here, because, of the small format and the consequent reduced scale, there is so seldom the opportunity to make use of the indefinite charm, whereby the imagination of the observer is called upon to shape the picture.” Austrian Court Ballet director Josef Bayer (1852-1913) composed “Around Vienna” (Rund um Wien) in 1894 as a golden jubilee celebration honoring Viennese Waltz King Johann Strauss II. (1825-99) It was performed in October that year at the Vienna State Opera house. From: PhotoSeed Archive

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