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Venus in the Grotto, c. 1914

Leopold Museum,
Oil on canvas
75.5×62.7 cm


  • Koloman Moser

    (Vienna 1868–1918 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Koloman Moser (1868–1918) explored the composition of his work Venus in the Grotto over an extended period of time, as documented by the existence of various drafts and versions of this motif, among which the present one may be called the most mature. Venus appears to us within the hollow of a rock, and surrounded by an opened veil that covers no more than part of her legs. The artist rendered her naked and in colors which no longer correspond to nature, using chrome yellow for the heightened areas and pale purple for the shadows. For the surrounding veil, the artist chose yellow ocher and light blue, while rendering the rocks in a greenish blue and ocher. In the lower right corner he added a bouquet of flowers. Moser achieved an impressive harmony of colors in this rendering. The artist created a version of his work [The Hiker] (/en/object/583) with exactly the same measurements, which he apparently intended as a companion piece to this painting.

A closer look

The artwork explained
by curator Ivan Ristić


Audio for adults

Object data

  • Koloman Moser
Venus in the Grotto
c. 1914
Art movement
Classical Modernism
Oil on canvas
75.5×62.7 cm
Monogrammed lower left: KM
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 583
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).
  • Koloman Moser- Die Sammlung Leopold, hrsg. von Elisabeth Leopold/Stefan Kutzenberger, Wien 2018 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 18.01.2018-10.06.2018).
  • Wien 1900. Sammlung Leopold, hrsg. von Diethard Leopold/Peter Weinhäupl, Wien u.a. 2009.
  • Koloman Moser 1868-1818, hrsg. von Rudolf Leopold/Gerd Pichler, Wien 2007 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 25.05.2007-10.09.2007).
Catalogue raisonne
  • Pichler 2012: 157

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


Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Nachlass Koloman Moser, Wien;
Editha Hauska, Wien (1918); (1)
Kunstverlag Wolfrum, Wien (1920); (2)
Galerie Manfred Scheer, Wien (1968/69); (3)
Auktion: 29.11.1972, Dorotheum Wien, 598. Kunstauktion – kein Verkaufsnachweis (4)
Privatbesitz, Wien (vor 1976); (5)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (vor 1984-1994); (6)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994).

  1. Rückseite: Nachlassstempel „Koloman Moser“ und Nachlass-Nummer „169“.
  2. Kunstverlag Wolfrum, Katalog zu “Kolo Moser-Nachlass-Ausstellung. 23. November - 15. Dezember 1920.”, Wien 1920, Nr. 169 „Venus in der Grotte“.
  3. Galerie 10 – Manfred Scheer, Katalog zu „Koloman Moser“, Wien Oktober 1968, Nr. 1 „Venus vor dem Spiegel“; Neue Galerie Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Katalog zu „Koloman Moser 1868 - 1918. Gemälde, Graphik“, Graz 1969, Nr. 11 „Venus in der Grotte“.
  4. Gerd Pichler, Eberhard Kohlbacher (Hg.), Koloman Moser. Die Gemälde, Wien 2012, S. 150, Nr. 157 und S. 181
  5. Werner Fenz, Kolo Moser. Internationaler Jugendstil und Wiener Secession, Salzburg 1976, S. 182, Nr. 85
  6. Werner Fenz, Koloman Moser. Graphik, Kunstgewerbe, Malerei, Salzburg 1984, S. 261, Nr. 46

For provenance related information, please contact us.