Josef Maria Auchentaller
Austrian, 1865 - 1949
Albert Berger, publisher (Vienna, Austria)
Vienna Secession, 1900

image:   H. 61 x W. 27 in.
sheet:   H. 77 x W. 43 in.

This poster from 1900 announces the Vienna Secessionists’ seventh exhibition of their work, and includes their motto, Ver Sacrum (Sacred Spring), in its design. Like other posters in their style, the composition has been equally divided, with a figure occupying the top half and text the bottom half. The nude male, reminiscent of Greek sculptures of Apollo, strides through briars (symbols of adversity) while looking into the distance. In his right hand he holds laurel leaves, traditional emblems of victory, as if they were a flaming torch. Together, the images signify a triumph, or rebirth, and allude to the Secessionists’ ascendency over past styles to become heralds of the modern era.