Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

These 5 Weird Portraits from Kunsthistorisches Museum Will Make You Wonder

Just Weird

These 5 Weird Portraits from Kunsthistorisches Museum Will Make You Wonder

Every month in our mobile app DailyArt (download it for free for iOS/Android) we specially feature a collection from one magnificent museum. This month we feature pieces from The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, one of the foremost museums in the world, which owns rich holdings comprising artworks from seven millennia – from Ancient Egypt to the late 18th century. On this occasion we decided to share more masterpieces from this museum with you. Check out this 5 kinda weird portraits from KHM collection that will make you wonder about human physhiognomy. Enjoy!

1. The Hairy Man

Anonymous Artist, Peter Gonsalvus, 1580, Kunsthistorisches Museum. Vienna

Anonymous Artist, Peter Gonsalvus, 1580, Kunsthistorisches Museum. Vienna

Petrus Gonsalvus, “the man of the woods,” was born in 1537 in Tenerife. His life has been well chronicled as he became famous during his lifetime because of his condition called hypertrichosis, an abnormal amount of hair growth over the body. Gonsalvus was a noble man, although he was never considered fully human in the eyes of his contemporaries. He married and had children – four of seven were also afflicted with hypertrichosis, and painted. It is believed that marriage between Petrus Gonsalvus and lady Catherine inspired fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.

2. The Man with feathery shade on his head

Jan Thomas, Gundakar Fürst Dietrichstein, 1667, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Jan Thomas, Prince Gundakar Dietrichstein in a fantastical costume, 1667, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


The prince Gundakar took part in the equestrian ballet, one of the elaborate festivities held at the Viennese court to mark the marriage of Emperor Leopold I and the Spanish infanta Margarita Teresa (that famous one from Velasquez portraits) in Vienna in 1667. I really wonder how on earth this poor horse endured all these decorative elements – they seem to be heavy!

3. The Giant and the Dwarf

Anonymous Artist, The giant Bartlmä Bona with the dwarf Thomele, late 16th century, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Anonymous Artist, The giant Bartlmä Bon with the dwarf Thomele, late 16th century, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

The legend has it that those men on the portrait are Archduke Ferdinand’s court giant,Bartlmä Bon and the court dwarf, Thomele. The Habsburg court was famous of its love of curiosities and interest in weird discoveries. Both sitters often played their part in court festivities and pageants. But why the dwarf look like a child – I have no idea.


 

4. The Duke with a long nose

Anonymous Artist (copy of Rogier van der Weyden), Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy, around 1500, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Anonymous Artist (copy of Rogier van der Weyden), Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy, around 1500, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Duke John the Fearless was the ruler of a territory that, at the time, was regarded as the most powerful of Western Europe. He was murdered in 1419 on the bridge at Montereau during a parley with the French dauphin (the future Charles VII of France), by Tanneguy du Chastel and Jean Louvet, the dauphin’s close counsellors. Sounds a bit like Games of Thrones doesn’t it? Still, we published this portrait here because of Duke’s famous long nose.

5. The Sleepy Emperor


Anonymous Artist, Emperor Frederick III, c. 1500, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

Frederick III, called the Peaceful, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 until his death, the first emperor of the House of Habsburg. During his reign, Frederick concentrated on re-uniting the Habsburg “hereditary lands” of Austria and took a lesser interest in Imperial affairs. Nevertheless, by his dynastic entitlement to Hungary as well as by the Burgundian inheritance, he laid the foundations for the later Habsburg Empire. Mocked as “Arch-Sleepyhead of the Holy Roman Empire”during his lifetime, he is today increasingly seen as an efficient ruler.

Find out more:

     

Find out more about museum collection:

www.khm.at


Art Historian, founder and CEO of DailyArtMagazine.com and DailyArt mobile app. But to be honest, her greatest accomplishment is being the owner of Pimpek the Cat.

Comments

More in Just Weird

  • 19th Century

    5 Artists Who Likely Suffered From Syphilis

    By

    Also known as the French disease or great pox, syphilis was a common sexually transmitted disease in Europe in the 1800s. In fact, 10-15% of Europeans in the 19th century were likely infected with the bacterial infection. Hence there was not a lot of social stigma,...

  • Punk in Art: Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Cyberpunk. Michaela Maria Watbichler, Welcome Your New Queen, 2019, digital art, ©PHOENIX DIGITAL ARTS// Ing. Michaela Maria Watbichler Punk in Art: Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Cyberpunk. Michaela Maria Watbichler, Welcome Your New Queen, 2019, digital art, ©PHOENIX DIGITAL ARTS// Ing. Michaela Maria Watbichler

    21st century

    Punk in Art: Steampunk, Dieselpunk, and Cyberpunk

    By

    There are many artistic styles and genres not recognized by the official art world. In some cases, the artists of a certain genre struggle for acknowledgement. Their works might be technically excellent but for one reason or another they don’t get the attention they deserve. Meanwhile...

  • Abstraction

    VIPs… or VICs (Very Important Colors)? Iconic Hues in Art History

    By

    Every person probably dreams of leaving a legacy to the world. For artists this is a central goal and they try to do it through their masterpieces of course. Some people even went further though… They gave their name to a hue! Iconic artists used colors...

  • Ferrante Imperato, Room of curiosities. Source: www.wunderkammer.at Ferrante Imperato, Room of curiosities. Source: www.wunderkammer.at

    Animals

    What is a Wunderkammer? Best Cabinets of Curiosities

    By

    The characteristic of arousing surprise for the observer is typical for the so-called Wunderkammer or Cabinet of Curiosities. These are real rooms of wonders where, in an undifferentiated mix of art and science, of naturalia and artificialia, the most unusual finds are associated with all sorts...

  • 20th century

    Max Ernst and Birds: A Relationship Explained Through Paintings

    By

    Max Ernst (1891–1976) was a prolific German avant-garde artist. He was a pioneer in the early 20th century movements of Dada and Surrealism and developed a number of inventive artistic techniques. Ernst had the ability to make the unbelievable believable through his art. For this reason,...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy