Historical Social Research

Bernhard Hachleitner & Sema Colpan: The Wunderteam, Painted in Oil: Insights of Images / Insights through Images in Sport Studies. [Abstract]

In 1948, the Viennese city councilor in charge of cultural affairs commissioned a painting of the legendary Austrian football team of the early 1930s, the so-called “Wunderteam.” Paul Meissner, the creator of the painting, chose to depict the team entering the pitch at Stamford Bridge football ground in London in 1932. Even though it was not publicly accessible for decades, the painting achieved the status of an iconic image in Austria’s collective memory. Seeking to understand why particularly this group portrait gained such prominence, the article pursues a set of questions. First it looks at the event itself and analyses the contemporary visual media coverage of the game. In a second step, it discusses the painting, its composition, and what it reveals about the political agenda postwar Austria sought to set.

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