Skip to content

Smaragda Berg, 1906/07

Leopold Museum,
Oil on canvas
195×137 cm


  • Richard Gerstl

    (Vienna 1883–1908 Vienna)

Currently on display at OG3
In this painting, Richard Gerstl (1883–1908) depicts Smaragda Berg, the sister of the composer Alban Berg, who formed part of Arnold Schönberg’s circle of close friends, together with Alexander Zemlinsky, Anton von Webern and the painter himself. The work depicts the pianist in the left half of the picture. Illuminated by a bright light and seated in an upper class interior, she is gazing directly at the beholders. The room with its striped tiled floor – possibly a veranda – opens through a non-perspectival door into a sequence of other rooms, which ends in a view of the outdoors. Nevertheless, the composition still appears planar in the tradition of Secessionism. The picture plane is divided into geometrizing bright and dark bands of color, which result from the differing lighting situations and are further enhanced by their dissolution into dots of color. With regard to coloration, the work is dominated by shades of violet and yellow, creating a complementary contrast.

Object data

  • Richard Gerstl
Smaragda Berg
Art movement
Impressionism, Secession
Oil on canvas
195×137 cm
Credit line of the permanent loan
Private collection
Selection of Reference works
  • Richard Gerstl. Inspiration - Vermächtnis, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger u.a., Köln 2019 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 27.09.2019-20.01.2020).
  • Wien 1900. Aufbruch in die Moderne, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2019 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, ab 15.03.2019).

If you have further information on this object, please contact us.


Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

For provenance related information, please contact us.