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Related to Sezession: secession, Kunsthistorisches Museum


A term adopted by several groups of artists in Germany who seceded from the traditional conservative academies to show their work; the most celebrated was the one founded in Vienna in 1897, and included the artist Gustav Klimt and the architects Joseph Olbrich and Otto Wagner.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the name given to a number of late-19th- and early-20th-century German and Austrian art associations that represented new currents in art and arose on a groundwork of opposition to officially recognized academicism. Best known were the Munich Sezession, the Berlin Sezession, and the Vienna Sezession.

The Munich Sezession was founded in 1892 by F. von Stuck and was headed from 1899 by F. von Uhde. Its members were mostly representatives of the German version of art nouveau—Jugendstil. Among the leading artists of the Munich Sezession was the architect, graphic artist, and designer P. Behrens, who joined the group in 1893.

The Berlin Sezession, which was founded in 1899, was made up mainly of German impressionists. The association’s first president was M. Liebermann. In 1906 the association broke up to form two new groups—the New Sezession, led by L. Corinth, and the Free Sezession, headed by Liebermann.

The Vienna Sezession was organized in 1897 and included representatives of Sezessionstil— the Austrian version of art nouveau. The style was propagated by the Viennese journal Ver Sacrum, which was also the organ of Austrian literary symbolism (the essays of H. von Hofmannsthal, the verses of R. M. Rilke).

The leading artist of the Vienna Sezession was the painter G. Klimt, whose works are noted for the mosaic use of color and subtle ornamentality. Sezessionstil graphic art is distinguished by a geometric clarity of line, which paradoxically conveys an overall sense of decorativeness (Klimt, K. Moser, J. M. Olbrich, J. Hoffmann). In architecture there was an emphasis on three-dimensionality, a rhythmic arrangement of elements, simple decoration, and rational compositional and structural solutions (O. Wagner, Olbrich, Hoffmann). A distinguishing feature of Sezessionstil as a whole, including the applied arts, is an attraction to rectilinear ornamentation that preserved a geometric rigidity even in the most intricate combinations. Because of this feature, the style is sometimes called Quadratstil.

The Vienna Sezession greatly contributed to the spread of the positive principles of art nouveau, most notably in architecture and book design. At the same time, however, it propagated the style’s decadent tendencies, which in the fine arts included a propensity for pretentious symbolism, unhealthy eroticism, and an arbitrary distortion of the material world.


Klein, R. Die Sezession. Berlin, 1905.
Biermann, G. Die Sezession. Berlin, 1910.
Weissenberger, R. Die Wiener Sezession. Vienna, 1971.
See also references under ART NOUVEAU.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Austrian variant of Art Nouveau, so named because its adherents seceded from the official Academy of Art in Vienna.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Zwei judische Philantropinnen aus Wien: Der Salon von Berta Szeps-Zuckerkandl, die Wiege der Sezession." Sommerakademie-News/Institut fur Geschichte der Juden in Osterreich 3 (1993): 6-88.
The barbarism of the post-war history at the college cannot be understood without considering the preceding national socialist "cultural struggle", with which the culture of the Hamburg academy, shaped by Sezession and Bauhaus, was to be destroyed; one can therefore start with the conviction that the current barbarism being expressed in the battle at Larkfield has not only a method, but also a past buried in the history of the academy.
The group who created the Sezession and the building of the same name just across from the cafe, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka and Loos, came daily to the Cafe Museum.
Die wirtschaftliche Situation Pakistans nach der Sezession Bangladeshs.
Part III contains reactions, mainly by visual artists, to the War and the failed German Revolution and includes a good selection of major pieces relating to the Arbeitsrat fur Kunst, the Novembergruppe and the Dresdner Sezession. And Part IV consists of post-war reactions to visual Expressionism by leading members of the Bauhaus, Dadaists, art critics of the early Weimar years, Nazi art critics of the 1930s and left-wing participants in the Expressionismus-Debatte that took place in Moscow in the 1930s.
Olbrich's other buildings on the site have a much wilder mixture of ingredients: Austrian Sezession is blended with Belgian and French Art Nouveau and made occasionally astringent by the odd dash of the Arts and Crafts to form one of the strangest of early twentieth-century architectural experiments.