Gazmend Freitag, Linz, 2018. Photo: Johann Traunwieser
Impressions of the sword and helmet of Skanderbeg by the painter Gazmend Freitag
In 2014 Gazmend Freitag visited the Museum of Art-History in Vienna to engage in a dialogue with the helmet and sword of Skanderbeg which are of personal and cultural importance to every Albanian. In hours of study and observation he gained a sense of these historical objects and how they might be presented in the best possible way. Photographs were taken and set aside. In January 2017 Gazmend Freitag felt that the time was right and began to translate his impressions into art.
The result is a still life drenched in blood and two inanimate objects that have come to life and engage the observer in an unexpected dialogue.
One cannot escape the impression that they have been hurled from the past into the future and that they have become visible for one brief moment before their trajectory carries them on to their intended target. Especially the goat’s head appears to be infused with magic and poised to look into a future that only he is able to perceive.
The helmet of Skanderbeg is attributed to the Albanian National hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg (1405–1468) and is on display in the Collection of Arms and Armour at the Neue Burg (affiliated with the Kunsthistorisches Museum) in Vienna. The sword of Skanderbeg is shown with the helmet although its origin is contested.