Friday, August 29, 2008


The Art Newspaper reports on what sounds like an awesome show that is categorized as “Curious Decorative Medieval Old Master.” It’s an exhibition about Vlad III Dracula at an old castle in Austria, Schloss Ambras.

Vlad III Dracula was “Prince of Wallachia in what is now Romania, a vassal of the Hungarian kings. Voivode is the medieval Romanian term for a regional commander, which position Vlad held intermittently in addition to his princedom (1448, 1456-62 and 1476), and the name 'Dracula' is a diminutive derived from the Imperial Order of the Dragon, the order of knights to which Vlad and his father, Vlad II (1390-1447) both belonged.” (Art Newspaper) The museum’s website goes on to explain “Dracul” was what his father was called “Dracula” was the son’s nickname in the dragonian brotherhood.

From the museum’s website:
Based on the historical person of Vlad Tepes aka Dracula the exhibition is devoted to clashes between Christians and Ottomans in Southeast Europe and finally the Vampirismusphobie [vampire superstition] in the southeastern fringes of the Habsburg monarchy.

In addition, literary and cinematic realizations of the topic, portraits of almost all the Wallachian Voivodes, representations and weapons of Ottoman and Christian heroes of the 15th and 16 Century, reports, treatises, and academic disputes about vampirism give a varied picture of this subject which has fascinated people for centuries.

Another goal of the exhibition is to show a more total history of the figure, namely his role in the formation of Rumania. Vlad III Dracula in his homeland was revered as a hero, whereas the West, beginning with scholars of the time, painted him in a distinctly different light.

The Schloss Ambras is home to a collection that includes The Chamber of Art and Curiosities. In it is the infamous portrait of Dracula. Other highlights include a painting a man who's been impaled through the eye by a cheerful striped lance and another famous painting, a portrait of a nobleman with hypertrichosis universalis, hirsutism or werewolf syndrome.

Don’t be scared, but the Dracula exhibition closes on October 31st. Cue: Tocatta & Fugue in D Minor.


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