Österreichische Galerie Belvedere
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere

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Österreichische Galerie Belvedere

The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere stands as a museum ensconced within Vienna’s illustrious Belvedere palace. Constructed during the early 18th century by the renowned Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, these palaces, known as the Belvedere, served as the summer abode for Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736). The complex encompasses both the Upper and Lower Belvedere, along with the Orangery, Palace Stables, and expansive gardens.

In the contemporary era, the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere plays host to a superlative assemblage of Austrian art spanning from the Middle Ages to the present epoch, enriched by contributions from global artists. Within the Upper Belvedere, visitors encounter a panorama of artistic creations drawn from an extensive tapestry of over five centuries, coupled with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the resplendent grandeur of the staterooms. The museum’s purview extends beyond the Upper and Lower Belvedere, encompassing additional locations such as Prince Eugene’s town palace, the 21er Haus, and the Gustinus Ambrosi Museum.

An encyclopedic array of art within the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere offers an almost comprehensive traverse through Austria’s artistic evolution, thereby providing insights into the nation’s historical trajectory. The zenith of the exhibition resides in the Upper Belvedere, where the world’s most extensive compilation of Gustav Klimt’s paintings resides, focal to the presentation of Art circa 1900. Foremost among these treasures are Klimt’s magnum opuses, “The Kiss” (1908) and “Judith and the Head of Holofernes” (1901), joined by masterworks from Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. The collection further encompasses pivotal pieces from the realm of French Impressionism and the preeminent collection of Viennese Biedermeier art, all of which add to the museum’s allure.

Österreichische Galerie Belvedere

Established

Type

Visitors

Director

Website

Coordinates

Location

1903

Art museum

1,154,031 (2016)

 Stella Rollig

www.belvedere.at/en

48°11′29″N 16°22′51″E

Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, Vienna, Austria

History

During their tenure as the summer residence for the art connoisseur and collector, Prince Eugene, the dual Österreichische Galerie Belvedere palaces harbored a diverse array of artworks. Subsequent to the Prince’s demise, the Habsburgs assumed ownership of both the palaces and a portion of his collections. Commencing from 1781, segments of the imperial art compilation found their place on public exhibition within the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere  walls. The year 1903 witnessed the inauguration of the state’s “Moderne Galerie” within the confines of the Lower Belvedere. Following the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the Upper Belvedere and the Orangery underwent conversion into museums. In 1921, the establishment was christened the Österreichische Galerie (Austrian Gallery), encompassing the Baroque Museum in the Lower Belvedere (unveiled in 1923), the 19th Century Art Gallery at the Upper Belvedere (from 1924), and the Modern Gallery at the Orangery (from 1929). The Belvedere’s compilation of medieval art received its inaugural display at the Orangery adjacent to the Lower Belvedere in 1953.

In the aftermath of comprehensive reconstruction and renovation efforts, the Upper Österreichische Galerie Belvedere was once again unveiled to the public in 1955, showcasing the creations of prominent Austrian artists like Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, and others.

The years following the Second World War witnessed a surge in acquisitions, leading to the expansion and modernization of the museum. Today, the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere stands as one of Austria’s Federal Museums (Bundesmuseen) and has held the status of a “vollrechtsfähige wissenschaftliche Anstalt” (a legally independent public research/scientific institution) since 2000.

Agnes Husslein, formerly at the helm of the Salzburg Rupertinum and the Museum der Moderne on the Mönchsberg, assumed directorship of the Belvedere from 2007 to 2016. Under her guidance, the Belvedere’s identity has been forged as a repository of Austrian art placed within the global artistic narrative.

In the wake of extensive adaptation and remodeling endeavors, the prime selections from the medieval and Baroque art collections (formerly housed in the Lower Belvedere) have found their home at the Upper Belvedere since the spring of 2008. This transformation enables the comprehensive spectrum of the permanent collection, spanning from the Middle Ages to the mid-20th century, to be experienced under a single roof for the first time. The revamped spaces within the Lower Belvedere and Orangery now cater to temporary exhibitions. Additionally, the former Palace Stables have been repurposed to house a study collection of the medieval holdings. The rearrangement of the permanent collections was completed in 2011.

Under Husslein’s directorship, visitor numbers have witnessed a consistent increase, culminating in 2012 when they exceeded the one-million threshold for the first time, reaching 1,088,000 visitors.

Controversy and Restoration of Art Looted by the Nazis

  • On August 26, 1959, Alice Morgenstern, a survivor of the Holocaust and the widow of Josef Morgenstern, who was tragically killed in Auschwitz, submitted a claim to the Provincial Tax Office for Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland. In her submission, she detailed that the artwork “Four Trees” by Egon Schiele, which had once been under their ownership, was currently exhibited at the Upper Belvedere. She clarified that the painting was never sold, but rather entrusted to their friend Robert Röhrl, a lawyer in Vienna’s Gumpendorferstrasse, for safekeeping. Regrettably, Röhrl had passed away, and the circumstances leading to the artwork’s inclusion in the Belvedere’s collection in the twentieth century remained unknown. The Austrian Advisory Commission recommended on March 20, 2020, that the Schiele painting be returned to Morgenstern’s heirs.
  • After more than fifty years of legal disputes, in November 2006, a panel decreed that Edvard Munch’s “Summer Night at the Beach,” displayed at the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna, should be restituted to Marina Fistoulari-Mahler. She is the granddaughter and sole heir of Alma Mahler, the spouse of Austrian composer Gustav Mahler.
  • In 2006, Austria returned five paintings by Gustav Klimt from the Belvedere to the descendants of Adele Bloch-Bauer.
  • In the same year, an Austrian arbitration panel determined that Gustav Klimt’s portrait of “Amalie Zuckerkandl” had not been looted by the Nazis and, therefore, did not require restitution. This decision sparked significant commentary, partly due to Amalie Zuckerkandl’s tragic fate in Auschwitz and partly because the painting, rather than being returned as clearly looted art, was allowed to remain within the Belvedere’s collection, as reported by MSNBC.
  • In 2012, the documentary “Portrait of Wally” shed light on a peculiar incident. Egon Schiele’s renowned portrait, originally owned by Viennese art dealer Lea Bondi until it was confiscated by Nazi Friedrich Welz from her private collection in 1939, was mistakenly restituted to the Belvedere Museum in Austria after World War II. The confusion arose as it was grouped with another dealer’s collection.
  • In 2014, a legal ruling mandated that the Belvedere restitute Wilhelm Leibl’s painting “Farmer’s Kitchen / Kitchen Interior” to the heirs of Martha Liebermann – the widow of Max Liebermann – due to the persecution suffered under the Nazi regime.

FAQ

What is Österreichische Galerie Belvedere?

The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, commonly known simply as Belvedere, is a historic museum complex located in Vienna, Austria. Consisting of two Baroque palaces (the Upper and Lower Belvedere), the museum houses an impressive collection of Austrian art, including the world-famous works of Gustav Klimt.

Was kostet der Eintritt in Belvedere?

The entrance fee for the Belvedere varies depending on the specific exhibition and age group. Generally, tickets for adults to access both the Upper and Lower Belvedere start at around 22 euros, with discounts available for students, seniors, and children.

Welche Bilder hängen im Belvedere?

Belvedere boasts a rich collection of art, including masterpieces by Gustav Klimt such as “The Kiss” and “Judith.” The museum also showcases works by Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, and many other prominent Austrian artists.

Wer wohnte in Belvedere Wien?

Originally, the Belvedere palaces served as the summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. It was designed as a grand setting for his extensive art collection and as a venue for his lavish social events.

Was kann man im Belvedere sehen?

Visitors to Belvedere can explore a vast array of artworks spanning several centuries, including medieval art, Baroque masterpieces, and groundbreaking modern art. Additionally, the beautifully landscaped gardens and the historic architecture of the palaces themselves are major attractions.

Ist Belvedere gratis?

Admission to the Belvedere’s gardens is free, but entering the museums (Upper and Lower Belvedere) requires a purchased ticket. There are occasional free entry days and discounted tickets available through various promotions.

Welche Sprache ist Belvedere?

The term “Belvedere” does not refer to a language. It is the name of the museum complex in Vienna. However, information and tours at the museum are commonly available in multiple languages, including German and English.

Wo hängt die Goldene Adele von Klimt?

The painting “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” also known as the “Golden Adele,” by Gustav Klimt, is displayed at the Neue Galerie New York. It is not housed at the Belvedere in Vienna.

In welchem Belvedere ist Klimt?

Gustav Klimt’s works, including “The Kiss,” are primarily displayed in the Upper Belvedere Museum in Vienna. This venue is renowned for having the largest collection of Klimt’s paintings.

In welchem Museum befindet sich der Kuss?

“The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt is located in the Upper Belvedere Museum in Vienna. It is one of the most iconic and visited artworks in the museum’s collection.

Wem gehört Belvedere?

The Belvedere Museum is owned by the Republic of Austria and is managed by the Belvedere Museum organization. It is part of the Austrian federal museums.

Welches Schloss ist auf der Belvedere Flasche?

The image depicted on the Belvedere Vodka bottle is that of the Belvedere Palace, specifically the Upper Belvedere. This luxury vodka brand named itself after the famous palace to emphasize the quality and regal heritage of its product.

Was war das Belvedere früher?

Historically, the Belvedere served multiple purposes. Originally constructed as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy, it later played various roles, from imperial palace under Maria Theresa to French headquarters during the Napoleonic Wars. Eventually, it was transformed into a museum and public gallery.

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