Belvedere Museum Vienna
The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere is a museum housed in the Belvedere palace, in Vienna, Austria.
The Belvedere palaces were the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736). The ensemble was built in the early eighteenth century by the famous Baroque architect, Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, and comprises the Upper and Lower Belvedere, with the Orangery and Palace Stables, as well as extensive gardens. As one of Europe’s most stunning Baroque landmarks,it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, the Belvedere houses the greatest collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day, complemented by the works of international artists. At the Upper Belvedere, visitors not only encounter artworks drawn from over five hundred years of art history but can also experience the magnificent staterooms. In addition to the Lower and Upper Belvedere, the museum has further sites at Prince Eugene’s town palace and the 21er Haus as well as the Gustinus Ambrosi Museum.
The Belvedere’s art collection presents an almost complete overview of the development of art in Austria and, thus, an insight into the country’s history. The world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings lies at the heart of the presentation of Art around 1900, on show at the Upper Belvedere. Its highlights are Klimt’s paintings, The Kiss (1908/09) and Judith (1901), and masterpieces by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. Key works of French Impressionism and the greatest collection of Viennese Biedermeier art are further attractions at the museum.
The Leopold Museum, housed in the Museumsquartier in Vienna, Austria, is home to one of the largest collections of modern Austrian art, featuring artists such as Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Richard Gerstl.
It contains the world’s largest Egon Schiele Collection.
The more than 5,000 exhibits collected by Elisabeth and Rudolf Leopold over five decades were consolidated in 1994 with the assistance of the Republic of Austria and the National Bank of Austria into the Leopold Museum Private Foundation. In 2001 the Leopold Museum was opened.
The core of the collection consists of Austrian art of the first half of the 20th century, including key paintings and drawings by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, showing the gradual transformation from the Wiener Secession, the Art Nouveau/Jugendstilmovement in Austria to Expressionism. The historical context is illustrated by major Austrian works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Kunsthistorisches Museum (closed on Monday)
It was opened around 1891 at the same time as the Natural History Museum, Vienna, by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. The two museums have similar exteriors and face each other across Maria-Theresien-Platz. Both buildings were built between 1871 and 1891 according to plans drawn up by Gottfried Semper and Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer.
The two Ringstraße museums were commissioned by the emperor in order to find a suitable shelter for the Habsburgs’ formidable art collection and to make it accessible to the general public. The façade was built of sandstone. The building is rectangular in shape, and topped with a dome that is 60 meters high. The inside of the building is lavishly decorated with marble, stuccoornamentations, gold-leaf, and paintings.
His studio, from 1911 until his death in 1918, was in what is now known as the Klimt Villa in Vienna. Klimt rented a cottage in what is today Feldmühlgasse Number 11, where, as he wrote, he “toiled away” on his opus. The house, which itself has a colorful history, has been revitalized for the current Klimt Year. There is a permanent exhibition featuring Klimt’s studio – the only one of his former ateliers in Vienna.
The Albertina has been a treasure trove of the finest art collections since 1805. This noble neo-classical Viennese palace was taken over from the Habsburg dynasty in 1919 by the Austrian Republic, and named Albertina Graphic Art Collection. The range of artworks is extensive, featuring paintings by Monet, Degas and Picasso, among others.