Destination: Austria: Vienna
The performances at the Burgtheater—known to serious theatergoers simply as “Die Burg,” and considered one of the most acclaimed stages in Europe—are in German. But Klimt fans should take the forty-five-minute backstage tour to see the two ceiling murals the twenty-six-year-old artist created with his brother, Ernst, and fellow painter Franz Matsch from 1886-1888. Klimt’s opinion of the finished work was rather harsh (he famously called it Schweinsdreck, which translates to pig dirt), surely in part because Emperor Franz Joseph insisted upon a self-portrait of the artist. If you’re standing under the panel that depicts Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre—the murals portray well-known playhouses and scenes from plays—look for an audience member wearing a white ruffled collar. It was the first, and last, time Klimt depicted himself in one of his works. Tours in English are available Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 3 P.M., and cost $8.
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