I always try to force myself to do one cultural thing on every trip so I made myself go to the Neue Pinakothek this afternoon
November 6, 2016 § Leave a comment
I always try to force myself to do one cultural thing on every trip, so I made myself go to the Neue Pinakothek this afternoon. I started in the last room rather than the first, which meant I was absolutely immediately confronted with Die Sünde (Sin), Franz von Stuck’s masterwork. To stand in front of her again, to be confronted by Sin again, took me right back to 1999, like being sucked through a time gate. My whole life is in this one picture. To be confronted by her is always an incredible feeling. I cannot think of any other picture that has this effect on me. It is extraordinary. There were all the other pictures as well, of course, that I know so well—the gorgeous dark mysterious Menzels, Interval at a Ball, Church Interior, View from the Balcony at the Berlin Palace, Rodin’s bronze Anatomy of Life (Fragment), Gabriel Max’s Anatomist (1869) lubriciously lifting the white blanket from the dead girl to see her beautiful breasts. Hans Makart’s women all look like whores dressed up to play a part. He reminds me so viscerally of Vienna, the way Menzel does of Berlin, and Stuck of Munich. For London, perhaps Sickert? The new discovery of the Neue Pinakothek for me was Visiting a Mother in Childhood, 1879, by Mihály von Munkácsy. I want to live in such a room, without the wife and baby, obviously. I retraced my steps to see Die Sünde as my last act before leaving the Museum, as always. My whole life is in that painting. Extraordinary.