Catalogue of the Exhibition The Beauty and the Beast - Stories of ill-assorted couples: 14.07.2007 - 04.11.2007
The version we know of the French/Italian fairy-tale Beauty and the Beast, based on the ancient myth of Amor and Psyche, was written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont and published in 1756. Intended as a salutary tale for young girls, it describes the meek and patient love of a beautiful girl for a beast of loathsome aspect.
The story centres on the perennial question of true beauty and the eternal search for it. Only love can recognise inner beauty, and expose the deceptions and seductions of the apparent aesthetic and sensuous charms of the material world. This is a sensitive topic in the history of western art.
It was not only the opulent 17th and 18th centuries that were so fond of outward beauty, in full awareness of its transience and delusion. Today beauty and ugliness are still contraposed, to the extremes of angelic flawlessness on the one hand and morally reprehensible monstrosity on the other. Beauty and ugliness are usually illustrated by unequal pairs, often taking the example of the gods of ancient mythology. They are at once mutually attracted and repelled. This interaction engenders stark contrasts (appearance and reality, desire and rejection, devotion and contempt, virtue and evil).
Katharina Ackermann, Sabine Coelsch-Foisner, Christoph Conrad, Gudrun Danzer, Roland Fischer-Briand, Gottfried Goiginger, Gabriele Groschner, Andreas von Heydwolff, Barbara Herzog, Andrea Hofinger, Roswitha Juffinger, Claudia Koch, Wolfgang Krug, Peter Laub, Eleonore Louis, Katja Mittendorfer-Oppolzer, Monika Oberchristl, Christine Rabensteiner, Ulrike Reinert, Nikolaus Schaffer, Michaela Schwarzbauer, Wolfgang Speyer, Ute Stadlbauer, Franz Witek
Editor: Gabriele Groschner
Owner and publisher: Residenzgalerie Salzburg
Year of publication: 2007
Number of pages: 296
Illustrations in color: 181
Illustrations in black and white: 8
Book size: 21 x 21 cm