Located in the Otto Wagner building at Neustiftgasse 40,
The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art is part of the rich cultural life in Vienna’s vibrant & artistic 7th district.
The Vienna Academy of Visionary Art
The Vienna Academy is an international teaching institution (with English as the primary language of instruction) that accepts up to twenty full-time students per year in its two-year and three-year Diploma programmes. For shorter stays, our Single Trimester programme (3 months) and Summer Seminar in Italy (3 weeks) offer a variety of opportunities to learn the painter’s craft.
Co-founded by a circle of renowned Visionary Artists and the esteemed Viennese Professor Ernst Fuchs, our Academy is dedicated to the pursuit of a new Spiritual Renaissance in art. Its circle of sixteen artists – many of whom assisted Professor Fuchs in the Master’s Studio – form a collective called The Visionary Guild. From London, Paris and Vienna to Melbourne Australia and the West Coast of America, two of these artists transmit their artistry on a trimester basis, following the time-honoured practices of the Academies and Guilds.
Over the course of each academic year, the first and second year students develop two paintings per trimester under the careful guidance of the two trimester teachers – receiving a direct transmission of the artists’ techniques and spiritual approaches to painting. The Student cycles through the teachings of 12 – 16 teachers over the course of two years, keeping each trimester lively, fresh and original.
To provide continuity, Academy Director Laurence Caruana is present year-round and lectures on specific topics each trimester. Smaller paintings and drawings are completed, as exercises, in such skill areas as Composition, Armature, Perspective, Sacred Geometry, Binding Media and Colour Chemistry. On a regular weekly basis, the student also draws the male and female nude from live models, to encourage a better understanding of beauty, style and the idealization of the human figure. Modern techniques, such as Acrylics, Airbrushing and Digital Art are also transmitted by artists who have made these techniques an essential part of their working methods.
The students’ paintings are exhibited at the end of each academic year – with emphasis on promoting and selling your work, to learn the commercial side of art.
The third year students work on their masterpiece – a large-scale painting that is supervised by an established Visionary artist (such as Alex Grey, Martina Hoffmann or a member of our faculty) which is offered in recognition of their graduate status as a Master artist. Diplomas are awarded at the end of the second and third year, based on the student’s paintings and course work.
At the heart of our programme is the individual artist’s quest for beauty, harmony and unity, through visions of the Sacred. With a solid technical foundation, the next generation may revive a higher form of art – an Ars Sacrum that idealizes the human form, while actually transfiguring humanity through visions of oneness. By promoting cultural ideals of craftsmanship, mastery and ingenuity, we celebrate the individual emergence of creativity and genius.
Hence our motto: Ad Sacrum – Toward the Sacred.
What is an Academy?
Traditionally, the Academy oversaw the Masters’ Studios, which operated as a Guild.
The Guild was a meeting place for the Masters, to confer the status of apprentice, journeyman or master on its members. The only place an apprentice could learn the craft of painting was The Master’s Studio. Here, the Master designed the compositions and left many of the painting and teaching tasks to his assistants (some of whom were masters in their own right, recognized by the Guild). The Academy promoted a well-defined cultural ideal of beauty and style through lectures, competitions and exhibitions. The Academy did not teach the craft of painting until the early 19th century, when it integrated the Masters Studios into its structure. But, throughout its history it emphasized drawing and design for the idealization the human figure.