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Poster for the 14th Exhibition at the Vienna Secession, 1902

Leopold Museum,
Color lithograph on paper
203.8×80.3 cm


  • Alfred Roller

    (Brünn/Brno 1864–1935 Vienna)

  • Lithograph and print Albert Berger, Vienna
Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Alfred Roller (1864–1935) designed the poster for the 14th Exhibition of the Vienna Secession, held 1902 in honor of composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827). Posters were intended for maximum effect to capture also the attention of those uninterested in art. Typical of Viennese artists around 1900 were distorted letterings, dissonant color contrasts, and irritating ornaments. During the time that Roller was a member of the Secession, he was highly productive as a designer of exhibitions and the posters for them. The bold, condensed typeface he used here became a trademark also for other designs. The poster shows a high degree of ornamental abstraction. A woman reverently bows down to a shiny ball she is holding in her hands. It symbolizes the breakout from the dark into the light, which relates to the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony where is says, in the words of Friedrich Schiller’s (1759–1805) Ode to Joy: “Do you sense your maker, world? Seek Him beyond the starry heavens. Above the stars, he must reside.”

A closer look

The artwork explained by
art expert Alexandra Matzner


Audio for children

Object data

  • Design: Alfred Roller
  • Execution: Lithograph and print Albert Berger, Vienna
Poster for the 14th Exhibition at the Vienna Secession
Art movement
Graphic work
Color lithograph on paper
203.8×80.3 cm
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 3029
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Wien 1900. Aufbruch in die Moderne, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2019 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, ab 15.03.2019).
  • Wien 1900. Sammlung Leopold, hrsg. von Diethard Leopold/Peter Weinhäupl, Wien u.a. 2009.

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (o.D.);
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

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