Sally Porter's Web Log
The Brilliance of Kokoschka’s Bride of the Wind (1914) 
Monday, February 22, 2010, 03:35 PM - General
Posted by Administrator
In 1914, Oskar Kokoschka painted himself and the love of his life, Alma Mahler, in the expressionist masterpiece Bride of the Wind (1914). During their tempestuous relationship, the previously widowed Alma rejected his multiple proposals for marriage, eventually marrying the famous architect and founder of the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius. During his life, Kokoschka never ceased devotion to his love, Alma.

In homage to his love, Kokoschka began the painting to become known as Bride of the Wind or The Tempest. The large canvas, 71 1/4” x 86 5/8”, allowed Kokoschka to physically immerse himself in the creation of this passionate universe. He and Alma are alone with the purple mountains in the distance, lit by a shining moon eclipsed by a black sun and entombed amid the swirling, crashing waves of paint.

Alma rests beside him like a specter in pale whites and silvery, almost metallic grays, with eyes closed, sleeping peacefully. Kokoschka is awake with a troubled stare consuming his visage, covered in brutish strokes of gray, blue, rose and rust. In this moment, they are together, protected from the stormy currents by an arch of multi-colored, knotted brushstrokes above their heads. Their bodies are covered in shimmering sheets of white reflecting muted blue-greens and brilliant blues, with touches of olive and lime greens from the surrounding roiling sea. An electrical storm of emotion grips the couple in their nocturnal embrace amid the water.

Oskar created a place of being where Alma would remain his forever in this timeless painting of two lovers in embrace.

Sally Porter

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