I’m talking about the Otto Wagner Villa-cum-Ernst Fuchs Museum, at the western edge of the city and the Vienna Woods.
Long story short, Otto Wagner built a summer villa in the midst of nature at the edge of the Vienna Woods in the late 19th century. In the early 1940s the young Jewish boy Ernst Fuchs (baptized Catholic at Stephansdom) is recognized for his artistic potential and is given private lessons until the end of the war, when he enrolls in the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. His art is influenced, as you’ll see, by Gustav Klimt, Frederick Hundertwasser and others, but also reflects Fantastic Realism. In 1972, Ernst Fuchs stepped in to save OttoWagner’s villa from demolition, and by the by it becomes one of his most famous works, and quite a trippin’ place to visit.
Speaking of nature, we were not the only visitors to the villa.
For those as art-savvy as I, here is a cheat sheet of sorts to help identify Fuchs’ influences. We also thought there was a little Gaudi in his style, as well.
On the grounds is a second and much smaller villa, but no less whimsical in design.
My two appreciate their art.
The voluptuous woman is a creation of Ernst Fuchs
The entrance to the villa is around the back, possibly a servant’s entrance at one point. It is necessary to ring the buzzer to gain entrance. A very knowledgeable docent offered a guidebook and directed us to enjoy the villa. Wow. It would be difficult for anyone not to be impressed.
Ernst Fuchs’ “Fantastic Realism” is present throughout.
A Roman-style bath. But of course.
While walking around the grounds we joked that we would not have been the least surprised if Klimt or Hundertwasser had come wandering out of the forest, the place seemed that mystical. And, when accidentally wandering off course into an area marked “Privat,” we think we glimpsed Ernst Fuchs himself! Though he is said to live in Paris, either that was him in the studio or he has a twin.
Ernst Fuchs has an interesting history; his website biography is worth a read. And, we all thought, he could definitely have stayed at The Grand Budapest Hotel.
(Photo courtesy of Professor Fuchs’ website)