50 euro - Tina Blau – Painter

Series: Austria - Austria’s Unsung Heroines

Image of 50 euro coin - Tina Blau – Painter | Austria 2024.  The Gold coin is of Proof quality.
The second coin in the Austria’s Unsung Heroines series tells the story of the writer Veza Canetti, who could not have had a more contrasting career to that of her illustrious husband, Elias. Despite being a less successful writer than his wife in the early 1930s, Elias would eventually go on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981, while Veza was to remain an unknown author until the 1990s, some 30 years after her death. Born Venetiana ‘Veza’ Taubner-Calderon into a Sephardi-Jewish family in Vienna in 1897, Veza Canetti was a novelist, playwright and short story writer whose work was published under numerous pseudonyms. Despite working to support herself and Elias after they had fled Vienna for England following the annexation of Austria by the German Reich in 1938, Veza continued writing. But after her work was rejected for publication, she destroyed some of her manuscripts and remained in the background as Elias’ creative advisor. It was not until the 1990s, once her pseudonyms had been deciphered, that her work, including the novel Yellow Street and the collection of stories Patience Brings Roses, was published to great acclaim under the name Veza Canetti. Having become famous in the meantime, Elias Canetti later recognized that Veza’s contribution to his psychological study of crowd behaviour, Crowds and Power, was as important as his own. Therefore, Veza Canetti can also be considered the co-author of some of her celebrated husband’s body of work. The obverse of the coin shows Veza Canetti in profile. A portrait of the writer is also featured on the coin’s reverse behind one of Elias, so as to emphasize how she was overshadowed by the Nobel Prize winner. Her likeness is surrounded by text excerpts from Patience Brings Roses and Yellow Street, which is about Vienna’s Ferdinandstraße, the street of leather merchants and humble people.