|Location||Maria Theresien Platz Vienna, Austria|
|Director||Sabine Haag (since 2009)|
|Architect||Karl Hasenauer, Gottfried Semper|
The Kunsthistorisches Museum (lit. "Museum of Art History", also often referred to as the "Museum of Fine Arts") is an art museum in Vienna, Austria. Housed in its festive palatial building on Ringstraße, it is crowned with an octagonal dome. The term Kunsthistorisches Museum applies to both the institution and the main building. It is the largest art museum in the country and one of the most important museums worldwide.
Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary opened the facility around 1891 at the same time as the Natural History Museum, Vienna which has a similar design and is directly across Maria-Theresien-Platz. 60 metres (200 ft) high. The interiors of the museums are lavishly decorated with marble, stucco ornamentation, gold-leaf and murals. The grand stairway features paintings by Gustav Klimt, Ernst Klimt, Franz Matsch, Hans Makart and Mihály Munkácsy.The two buildings were constructed between 1871 and 1891 according to plans by Gottfried Semper and Baron Karl von Hasenauer. The emperor commissioned the two Ringstraße museums to create a suitable home for the Habsburgs' formidable art collection and to make it accessible to the general public. The buildings are rectangular in shape, with symmetrical Renaissance Revival façades of sandstone lined with large arched windows on the main levels and topped with an octagonal dome
The museum's primary collections are those of the Habsburgs, particularly from the portrait and armour collections of Ferdinand of Tirol, the collections of Emperor Rudolph II (the largest part of which is, however, scattered), and the collection of paintings of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, of which his Italian paintings were first documented in the Theatrum Pictorium .
Notable works in the picture gallery include:
The collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum:
Also affiliated are the:
In 2010 an Austrian government panel recommended that the Kunsthistorisches Museum should restitute two altar panels by the 16th-century Dutch artist, Maerten van Heemskerck to the heirs of Richard Neumann, a Jewish art collector in Vienna plundered by the Nazis.
In 2015 a dispute over a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Fight Between Carnival and Lent (1559) erupted between Poland and Austria. Poland presented evidence that the painting had been seized by Charlotte von Wächter, the wife of Krakow's Nazi governor Otto von Wächter, during the German occupation of Poland.The Kunsthistorisches Museum, insisted that it had owned the painting since the 17th century, and that the artwork seized by von Wächter in 1939 "was a different painting".
One of the museum's most important objects, the Cellini Salt Cellar sculpture by Benvenuto Cellini, was stolen on 11 May 2003 and recovered on 21 January 2006, in a box buried in a forest near the town of Zwettl. It was featured in an episode of Museum Secrets on the History Channel. It had been the greatest art theft in Austrian history.
The museum is the subject of Johannes Holzhausen's documentary film The Great Museum (2014), filmed over two years in the run up to the re-opening of the newly renovated and expanded Kunstkammer rooms in 2013.
From October 2018 through January 2019 the museum hosted the world's largest-ever exhibition of works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder called Bruegel – Once in a Lifetime.
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objects d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. Amongst his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.
Pieter Bruegelthe Elder was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaker, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes ; he was a pioneer in making both types of subject the focus in large paintings.
The Belvedere is a historic building complex in Vienna, Austria, consisting of two Baroque palaces, the Orangery, and the Palace Stables. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the third district of the city, on the south-eastern edge of its centre. It houses the Belvedere museum. The grounds are set on a gentle gradient and include decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates. The Baroque palace complex was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy.
The Harvesters is an oil painting on wood completed by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1565. It depicts the harvest time, in the months of July and August or late summer. Nicolaes Jonghelinck, a merchant banker and art collector from Antwerp, commissioned this painting.
The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere is a museum housed in the Belvedere palace, in Vienna, Austria.
Maria-Theresien-Platz is a large public square in Vienna, Austria, that joins the Ringstraße with the Museumsquartier, a museum of modern arts located in the former Imperial Stables. Facing each other from the sides of the square are two near identical buildings, the Naturhistorisches Museum and the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The buildings are near identical, except for the statuary on their façades. The Naturhistorisches' façade has statues depicting personifications of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The Kunsthistorisches façade features famous European artists, such as the Dutch Bruegel, among others.
Museo di Capodimonte is an art museum located in the Palace of Capodimonte, a grand Bourbon palazzo in Naples, Italy. The museum is the prime repository of Neapolitan painting and decorative art, with several important works from other Italian schools of painting, and some important ancient Roman sculptures. It is one of the largest museums in Italy. The museum was inaugurated in 1957.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a painting by Gustav Klimt, completed between 1903 and 1907. The portrait was commissioned by the sitter's husband, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, a Jewish banker and sugar producer. The painting was stolen by the Nazis in 1941 and displayed at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere. The portrait is the final and most fully representative work of Klimt's golden phase. It was the first of two depictions of Adele by Klimt—the second was completed in 1912; these were two of several works by the artist that the family owned.
The Peasant Wedding is a 1567 genre painting by the Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painter and printmaker Pieter Bruegel the Elder, one of his many depicting peasant life. It is now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Pieter Bruegel the Elder enjoyed painting peasants and different aspects of their lives in so many of his paintings that he has been called Peasant-Bruegel, but he was an intellectual, and many of his paintings have a symbolic meaning as well as a moral aspect.
The Hunters in the Snow, also known as The Return of the Hunters, is a 1565 oil-on-wood painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Northern Renaissance work is one of a series of works, five of which still survive, that depict different times of the year. The painting is in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. This scene is set in the depths of winter during December/January.
The Gloomy Day is an oil on wood painting by Pieter Bruegel in 1565. The painting is one in a series of six works, five of which are still extant, that depict different times of the year. The painting is currently in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, located in Vienna, Austria.
The Return of the Herd is an oil on wood painting by Pieter Bruegel in 1565. The painting is one in a series of six works that depict different seasons. The painting is currently in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, located in Vienna, Austria. The autumnal colors of the landscape and the bare trees connect this particular painting to October/November.
The National Gallery is the primary British national public art gallery, sited on Trafalgar Square, in central London. It is home to one of the world's greatest collections of Western European paintings. Founded in 1824, from an initial purchase of 36 paintings by the British Government, its collections have since grown to about 2,300 paintings by roughly 750 artists dating from the mid-13th century to 1900, most of which are on display. This page lists some of the highlights of the collection.
Abel Grimmer was a Flemish late Renaissance painter, mainly of landscapes and, to a lesser extent, of architectural paintings. His works were important in the development towards more naturalism in Flemish landscape painting.
The Peasant Dance is an oil-on-panel by the Netherlandish Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, painted in circa 1567. It was looted by Napoleon Bonaparte and brought to Paris in 1808, being returned in 1815. Today it is held by and exhibited at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
The Procession to Calvary is an oil-on-panel by the Netherlandish Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder of Christ carrying the Cross set in a large landscape, painted in 1564. It is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
The Peasant and the Nest Robber is an oil-on-panel painting by the Netherlandish Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, painted in 1568. It is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
The Wedding Dance is a 1566 oil-on-panel painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Owned by the museum of the Detroit Institute of Arts in Detroit, Michigan, the work was discovered by its director in England in 1930, and brought to Detroit. It is believed to be one of a set of three Bruegel works from around the same time: The Wedding Dance, The Peasant Wedding (1567) and The Peasant Dance (1569).
Theatrum Pictorium, or Theatre of Painting, is a short-hand name of a book published in the 1660s by David Teniers the Younger for his employer, the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria. It was a catalog of 243 Italian paintings in the Archduke's collection of over 1300 paintings, with engravings of the paintings taken from small models that Teniers had personally prepared. A second edition with page numbers was published in 1673.
Several oil-on-oak-panel versions of The Massacre of the Innocents were painted by 16th-century Netherlandish painters Pieter Bruegel the Elder and his son Pieter Brueghel the Younger. The work translates the Biblical account of the Massacre of the Innocents into a winter scene in the Netherlands in the prelude to the Dutch Revolt against Spanish rule, also known as the Eighty Years' War.
A passionate collector, Neumann amassed more than 200 art works in his Vienna villa. He escaped Austria after the Nazi annexation via Switzerland to Paris. When the Nazis occupied France, he fled by foot through the Pyrenees to Spain. From there he reached Cuba, where he settled, and participated in the 1954 founding of an art museum in Havana. He later moved to New York to be with his daughter, and died there in 1961, age 82. Neumann’s artworks were seized by the Nazis, then released shortly afterward to allow a sale to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Neumann’s daughter sold the altar panels in 1938. The money went into a frozen account to pay Neumann’s “emigration tax.”
The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, meanwhile, claims that it has owned the painting since the 17th century, and that the artwork seized by von Wächter in 1939 was a different painting.
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