Imaginary Visions of the Land on the Nile from the Biedermeier Era at the Liechtenstein Museum


VIENNA, AUSTRIA.- In the early part of the nineteenth century, Norbert Bittner (1786–1851) executed 57 views of a journey to Egypt – without ever having set foot in the country himself. Using French and German volumes of engravings, he made imaginative use of the details he found there, combining them to create his own personal vision of the Land on the Nile. This series of watercolours was left as a legacy to the Kupferstichkabinett of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1839. Twenty-six of these views, arranged in topographical order from north to south and juxtaposed with modern photographs of the same sights, are shown in the Neoclassical Library of the LIECHTENSTEIN MUSEUM until September 20, 2011. Norbert Bittner studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna from 1806. Having initially enrolled as a student of landscape painting, he soon transferred to the class for architecture. His exceptional achie