fbpx
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

  • Cinema

    May the 4th Be with You—Archetypes in Star Wars and Art

    By

    Today is Star Wars Day. The first documented use of the phrase “May the 4th be with you” came from Margaret Thatcher’s political party, to congratulate her on her victory in the 1979 election. The first official celebration of Star Wars Day happened at the Toronto...

  • Artist

    Art from Horror Movies: Japanese Woodblocks of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

    By

    For centuries gore has been part of the culture in Japan, rooted in its history. Its representation is very common in woodblock engraving pictures. Muzan-e, the ‘bloody prints’, is genre par excellence. This kind of art may be the very first example of ero guro, an...

  • H, Dog, acrylic on canvas, 1993 H, Dog, acrylic on canvas, 1993

    dailyart

    What I Found in the Museum Of Bad Art

    By

    MOBA, or the Museum Of Bad Art, is replete with almost anything that could be wished for in terms of the good, the bad, the very bad, the hilarious, and of course the ugly. The category of ‘good’ doesn’t really exist here – that much will...

  • Animals

    Famous Lobsters in Art

    By

    Lobsters, large marine crustaceans, have been eaten by humans since prehistoric times. They became a delicacy by the Roman period. They were also popular among the Moche people of Peru. Historically, lobsters weren’t a very common subject of artists’ interests, but they appeared from time to...

  • Animals

    A Hero and Mythical Creatures: Famous Spiders in Art

    By

    Spiders disturb the majority of the people. Even though they are much smaller, and thus much less powerful than us, we cannot help but fear their presence. Perhaps it is the horrid looks that do not fit our aesthetic, or perhaps the fear of the unknown;...

To Top