7 Reasons to visit the Belvedere

by Erik Schmuck, 1 year ago
6 0
#1 Gustav Klimt & Kiss
#2 Architecture & Cultural Heritage
#3 Masterpieces
#4 Exhibitions
#5 Events & Activities
#6 Learning & Science
#7 Leisure & Feeling Good

The two Belvedere palaces were built in the early eighteenth century by the famous Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt to be used as the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736). One of Europe’s most stunning Baroque landmarks, this ensemble – comprising the Upper and Lower Belvedere and an extensive garden – 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 work of international artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, and Max Beckmann. Highlights from the holdings Vienna 1880–1914 are the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings (including the famous golden Art Nouveau icons the Kiss (Lovers) and Judith) and works by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. Key works of French Impressionism and the greatest collection of Viennese Biedermeier art are further attractions on display at the Upper Belvedere.

The Lower Belvedere and the former Orangery are venues for top temporary exhibitions. These shows focus on presenting Austrian art in an international context, as defined in the Belvedere’s original mission back in 1903 (when it was founded as the Moderne Galerie). They comprise retrospective shows of Austrian artists, based on research into their work and significance, and major thematic exhibitions exploring key movements and epochs in art.

An insight into medieval art can be gained at the Medieval Treasury, opened in 2007 at the former Palace Stables that once accommodated Prince Eugene’s personal horses. This study collection gives the public access to the Belvedere’s entire holdings of medieval art.

Located at the heart of Vienna, Prince Eugene’s Winter Palace has been renovated and is open to the public as a centre for art and culture. The state apartment’s main rooms are now an exhibition space for artistic encounters between the Baroque interior, the Belvedere’s collections, and contemporary art.

The 21er Haus is housed in the pavilion designed by Karl Schwanzer for the 1958 Brussels World Expo. Renovated and adapted by architect Adolf Krischanitz, it was opened in November 2011 as the Belvedere’s exhibition space for Austrian art in an international context, dating from 1945 to the present day.

© Belvedere, Vienna

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