Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The painting on this blog

How many paintings are there called “Jurisprudence”? Not many that I know of. And even the one I know of no longer exists. The painting is, of course, by Klimt, who was commissioned to paint three murals for the University of Vienna: “Philosophy,”  “Medicine,” and “Jurisprudence.” (A fourth mural was to be painted by someone else.)  The paintings were poorly received, and were never displayed at the university. They changed hands, and eventually all three were destroyed in World War II, so all we have now are black-and-white photos. You can read more about them in the ever resourceful Wikipedia.

And if you wonder what this painting has to do with jurisprudence, there is an interesting interpretive essay on the paintings in Carl Schorske’s Fin-de-siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture

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