Martin Gayford

All together now | 18 October 2018

The only drawback of this Kunsthistorisches Museum exhibition in Vienna is that there is too much to take in

‘About suffering’, W.H. Auden memorably argued in his poem ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’, the old masters ‘were never wrong’. Great and terrible events — martyrdoms and nativities — took place amid everyday life, while other people were eating, opening a window or ‘just walking dully along’. As an example, Auden took ‘The Fall of Icarus’ by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

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