Belvedere Museum Vienna
Belvedere Museum is a housed in the Belvedere Palace, which was the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736). Built in the early eighteenth century, it is one of Europe’s Baroque landmarks and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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 two Belvedere palaces housed an array of artworks even when they were the summer residence of the art patron and collector, Prince Eugene. After the Prince’s death, the Habsburgs acquired some of his collections together with the palaces. Various parts of the imperial art collection were subsequently placed on display at the Belvedere from 1781 onwards. In 1903, the state’s “Moderne Galerie” was opened at the Lower Belvedere. After the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, the Upper Belvedere and the Orangery were converted into museums as well.
The Österreichische Galerie (Austrian Gallery), as the museum was named in 1921, came to comprise the Baroque Museum in the Lower Belvedere (opened in 1923), the Gallery of 19th Century Art at the Upper Belvedere (from 1924), and the Modern Gallery at the Orangery (from 1929). The Belvedere’s collection of medieval art was first exhibited at the Orangery next to the Lower Belvedere in 1953.
In 1955, after years of rebuilding and renovation, the Upper Belvedere was reopened to the public, showing works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, and other major Austrian artists.
In the years after the Second World War, there were many acquisitions and the museum was expanded and modernized. The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere is today one of the Austrian Federal Museums (Bundesmuseen) and since 2000 has been a vollrechtsfähige “wissenschaftliche Anstalt” (a legally independent public research/scientific institution).
Schloss Belvedere, Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna
Belvedere Museum Vienna | paintings in chronological order
1826 – 1850