Ver Sacrum

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The magazine Ver Sacrum (Latin for "Sacred Spring") was published between 1898-1903 as the official organ of the Vereinigung bildender Künstler Österreichs (Association of Austrian Artists) and was the most important publication in the early years of the Vienna Secession. Lavishly illustrated and ornamented, its aim was to spread awareness of modern art and its pages also included literary articles, art criticism, and art-historical essays.

Secession members decided to publish a magazine at their first meeting on June 21, 1897. The exhibitions, art- and design-works, exhibition catalogues, and magazine were seen as a Gesamtkunstwerk, with the magazine often supplying statistics and sales and recycling images and photographs of the exhibition. Alfred Roller, who designed the cover of the first issue—a stylized red tree against an ochre background—saw the page spaces of Ver Sacrum as analogous to the exhibition spaces. Secession artists supplied 471 drawings, 55 lithographic prints and 216 woodcuts.

A total of 120 magazines were published from January 1898 to December 1903. Each unusual square-format issue cost 2 kronen. The magazine was printed monthly for the first two years, during which time there was also a Founder's edition, which was not for sale. In 1899 a folio-sized supplement with limited edition prints was produced and sold. From the third year the magazine was issued twice a month with a smaller print run.

Contributors included Rainer Maria Rilke, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Maurice Maeterlinck, Knut Hamsun, Otto Julius Bierbaum, Richard Dehmel, Ricarda Huch, Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, Josef Maria Auchentaller and Arno Holz.

In June 1899 the magazine was parodied in Quer Sacrum, subtitled "The Journal of the Union of Fine Artists and Crazyland."



  • Christian M. Nebehay, Ver sacrum 1898-1903, Vienna, 1975. (German)
  • Robert Waissenberger, Ver Sacrum. Die Zeitschrift der Wiener Secession 1898–1903, Vienna, 1983. (German)
  • Bernhard Kleinschmidt, Die "gemeinsame Sendung". Kunstpublizistik der Wiener Jahrhundertwende, Frankfurt am Main, 1989. (German)
  • Susanne Paesel, Bildende Kunst der Wiener Moderne. Die "Wiener Secession" und ihr Organ, die Zeitschrift "Ver Sacrum", Munich/Ravensburg, 2003. (German)
  • Marina Bressan, Marino De Grassi (eds.), Ver Sacrum. La rivista d'arte della Secessione viennese. 1898-1903, Monfalcone/Trieste, 2003. (German)
  • Marina Bressan, Marino De Grassi (eds.), Ver Sacrum. La rivista d'arte della Secessione viennese, Monfalcone/Trieste, 2004. (German)


Avant-garde and modernist magazines

Poesia (1905-09, 1920), Der Sturm (1910-32), Blast (1914-15), The Egoist (1914-19), The Little Review (1914-29), 291 (1915-16), MA (1916-25), De Stijl (1917-20, 1921-32), Dada (1917-21), Noi (1917-25), 391 (1917-24), Zenit (1921-26), Broom (1921-24), Veshch/Gegenstand/Objet (1922), Die Form (1922, 1925-35), Contimporanul (1922-32), Secession (1922-24), Klaxon (1922-23), Merz (1923-32), LEF (1923-25), G (1923-26), Irradiador (1923), Sovremennaya architektura (1926-30), Novyi LEF (1927-29), ReD (1927-31), Close Up (1927-33), transition (1927-38).