Belvedere Palaces (Austrian Galleries), Vienna
There are two Baroque palaces built for Prince Eugene, the Unteres (Lower) Belvedere and the Oberes (Upper) Belvedere. They now house the three museums of the Austrian Gallery: the Museum of Medieval Art, the Austrian Baroque Museum and the Museum of 19th and 20th C. Austrian Art. In 1995 the palaces are to undergo complete renovation with the 19th and 20th C. galleries being redesigned so that the temporary closure of some exhibitions is possible during this period.
Belvedere Palaces (Austrian Galleries) Map
Address: Prinz Eugenstrasse 27, A-1037 Vienna, Austria
Opening hours: Jan 1 to Mar 31: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Apr 1 to Dec 31: 10am-6pm; Closed: Mon
Apr 1 to Dec 31: 10am-6pm; Closed: Mon
Entrance fee in EUR: Family €15.00, Adult €7.50, Group discounts €6.50, Concession or reduced rate €5.00, Child 18 & under €3.00
Guides: Audio-visual presentations available. Guided tour available as optional extra.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Belvedere Palaces (Austrian Galleries) Highlights
Museum of Medieval Art
The Museum of Austrian Medieval Art is housed in the Orangery of the Unteres Belvedere. The collection included masterpieces of sculpture and panel-painting from the end of the 12th C. to the early 16th C., though there is some emphasis on 15th C. works. The oldest exhibit is the Romanesque Stammerberg Crucifix. It dates from the end of the 12th C. and is thought to be the oldest surviving example of Tyrolean wood carving.The collections of the museum are divided into five sections. In the first are works by the "masters of the altarpieces", including four stone figures by the Salzburg Master of Grosslobming (c. 1375-85) and a Madonna and Child on a throne (end 12th C.), the second oldest exhibit in the museum. In the second section the outstanding exhibits are the Crucifixion scenes, so-called "Wiltener Crucifixion" and the entire center panel of Conrad Laib's 1449 Crucifixion reredos. The main work of the third section is the colorful "Znaimer Altar". Also there are five pictures by the Tyrolean painter and carver Michael Pacher and seven pictures by Rueland Frueauf the Elder. Among the works by Pacher owned by the museum are parts of the High Altar from the Franciscans' Church in Salzburg. Important exhibits in the fourth section include a pair of pictures: "Pietá" and "The Adoration of the Kings"; they once formed part of the original reredos in four sections of the Schottenkirche in Vienna and date from 1469. In the fifth section, as well as Marx Reichlich's pictures of the Life of the Virgin and parts of the Waldauf reredos from near Hall, the pictures by Urban Görtschacher, including an "Ecce Homo" of 1508, are especially noteworthy, as are those by the masters of the Krainburg Altar.
Address: Rennweg 6a, A-1037 Vienna, Austria
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee: FREE
Guides: Guided tour included with admission.
The Austrian Baroque Museum has been housed since 1923 in Prince Eugene's residence, the Unteres Belvedere. It contains a collection of paintings and sculptures from the great age of the Baroque style in Austria executed between 1683 and 1780. The museum was reopened in 1953 after the Second World War and rebuilt in 1974 with extensive renovation taking place in 1994. The most important rooms in the museum are the Rottmayr Room (Room 3): Johann Michel Rottmayr painted figures like those of Rubens in bright, light colors. On show are two of his early works, "The Praising of the Name of Jesus" and "The Sacrifice of Iphigeneia". The picture "Susannah and the Elders" in the same room is by Martin Altomone. The Troger Gallery (Room 4): Paul Troger represents the pinnacle of Austrian Baroque painting. His "Christ on the Mount of Olives" is one of the most sensitive works of European Baroque. Sketches for secular monumental paintings by Daniel Gran are on display. Kremser-Schmidt Collection (Room 5): Martin Johann Schmidt devoted himself almost exclusively to religious painting, but there are two of his secular paintings here. "Venus in Vulcan's Forge" and "The Judgment of Midas" were the two works he painted when he sought admission to the Viennese Academy. Marble Room (Room 8): This two-story high chamber with its extremely rich stucco decoration and its painted ceiling by M. Altomonte which depicts the Triumph of Prince Eugene, the conqueror of the Turks, is the finest room in the Unteres Belvedere. In the middle stand the original figures made by George Raphael Donner for the Providentia Fountain in the Neuer Markt. Donner Gallery (Room 10): In what used to be Prince Eugen's bedroom, with a painted ceiling by M. Altomonte, may be seen Donner's reliefs for the piscina at St Stephen's Cathedral, statuettes of Venus and Mercury, statues of Charles VI and of a nymph. Maulbertsch Gallery (Room 11): Franz Anton Maulbertsch brought the Austrian Baroque tradition to its culmination. Some notion of the power of his monumental paintings is given by such works of his as the "Allegory of the Jesuits' Mission to the Whole World" and "Saint Narcissus". Maulbertsch Cabinet (Room 15): Here hang some small-scale pictures and sketches by Maulbertsch. Marble Gallery (Room 16): The former audience chamber portrays, like the Marble Hall, the Apotheosis of Prince Eugene. The life-size figures of Greek deities in the alcoves are the work of the Venetian artist Domenico Parodi. Gold Chamber (Room 17) also called the "Hall of Mirrors": this is a grandiose room with massive mirrors in golden frames which seem to make the room go on for ever. Here stands Balthasar Permoser's "Apotheosis of Prince Eugene", a marble sculpture carved in Dresden in 1721. It was commissioned by Prince Eugene himself.
Gallery of the 19th and 20th century
This gallery which is housed in the Upper Belvedere is devoted to Austrian art of the 19th and 20th C. It offers an excellent survey of Austrian artistic endeavor from the end of the Baroque era to the present day, taking in the art of the early 19th C., of the period when the Ringstrasse was being developed, and the so-called "Jugendstil", the characteristic Austrian version of Art Nouveau which developed at the end of the 19th C. The collection was started in 1916, and it has had its present form since 1953. Owing to the current renovations which were to last until the autumn of 1995 the permanent exhibition can only be shown in part.The ground floor is devoted to Austrian art of the 20th C. The period between the wars is represented by Oskar Kokoschka, Oskar Laske, painters of the Nötscher Circle (Anton Kolig, Franz Wiegele), Herbert Boeckl, Josef Dubrowsky, Anton Faistauer, Albert Paris Gütersloh and Rudolf Wacker. Among the post-war movements are Austrian Informel, the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism and the New Painting of the Eighties.The first floor is reserved for Historism, the Barbizon School, the Impressionists, the French Impressionists and the Viennese Secession. On display are Hans Makart ("Bacchus and Ariadne"), Hans Canon, Franz Defregger ("The Last Commandment"), Anton Romako ("Admiral Tegetthoff in the Sea Battle at Lissa"), August von Pettenkofen ("Horse Market in Szolnok"), Leopold Carl Müller, Camille Corot, Constant Troyon, Emil Jakob Schindler ("Steamer at Kaisermühlen"), Tina Blau ("Spring in Pater"), Olga Wissinger-Florian, Theodor von Hermann ("Znaim in the Snow"), Karl Schuch, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet ("The Garden at Givenchy"), Carl Moll ("The Sweet Market in Vienna"), Vincent van Gogh ("The Plain at Auvers") and the main representatives of Viennese Art Nouveau Gustav Klimt ("The Kiss") and Giovanni Segantini ("The Angry Mothers").On the second floor works of Classicism, Romanticism and Biedermeier are displayed. Historical, mythological and religious themes pervade the works of Heinrich Füger ("The Death of Germanicus"), Johann Peter Krafft ("Withdrawal of Emperor Franz I after the Paris Peace of 1814"), Jacques Louis David ("Napoleon at St Bernhard 1801"), Moritz von Schwind ("Rübezahl", 1851; "Erlkönig", about 1930) and Leopold Kupelwieser ("The Journey of the Three Holy Kings", 1825). One of the greatest landscape artists Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793-1865), the master of Viennese Biedermeier, who became famous through his consummerate skill in the handling of light ("Great Prater Landscape"). Other landscapes are by Carl Blechan, Rudolf von Ait ("The Stephansdom at Stock-im-Eisen Platz", 1832), Caspar David Friedrich ("Rocky Landscape in the Elbsand Mountains", about 1832), Friedrich Gauermann ("Landscape at Miesenbach" about 1830), Joseph Anton Koch, Joseph Rebell, Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld ("Broad Scot's pine at Mödling", 1838), Franz Steinfeld and Adalbert Stifter. Among the portrait painters are Friedrich Amerling, the favorite Biedermeier artist with the nobility and the self-important middle classes ("Rudolf von Arthaber and his Children", 1857), Moritz Michael Daffinger, Franz Eybl, Friedrich Heinrich Füger, François Pascal Simon Gérard ("The Family of Count Moritz von Fries"), Angelika Kaufmann, Johann Baptist Lampi the Elder and Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller ("The Eltz Family"). This genre is represented by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller ("Perchtoldsdorf Peasant Wedding"), Josef Danhauser ("Wine Women and Song"), Peter Fendi, Friedrich Amerling ("The Fisher Boy"), Michael Neder ("The Coachmann's Fight"), Carl Spitzweg and Carl Schindler. Still lifes by Waldmüller, Petter, Lauer and Knapp are also noteworthy.
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