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Yearning for perfection – Viennese beauties

Collections of beauties, which previously included only women’s portraits, have existed in private aristocratic museums since the 16th century. Similar to today’s selfies, back then, too, at issue was supra-individual idealization: the absence of an independent personality was even considered a special proof of virtue. Nowadays, many (self-)portraits are still about metamorphosis and perfection. Influencers, advertising stars, and sex idols are role models for both women and men. For a long time now, idealized and erotically accentuated beauty are no longer exclusively female phenomenon.
A. (Anton Paul) Huber
around 1890
Adele Perlmutter (Atelier Adèle)
around 1870
around 1988
Franz Xaver Setzer
around 1928

Hanna Klinkosch

Hans Makart
before 1884

Marie Preindl

Karl Joseph Aloys Agricola

Dame in Gelb

Max Kurzweil
Heinrich Friedrich Füger