I went to Vienna for a work trip. I arrived early and I could squeeze in a visit to the Belvedere museum.
It was cold but sunny. This is the view of the Upper Belvedere from the Lower Belvedere.
And the view of the Lower Belvedere from the Upper Belvedere, with Vienna in the background.
The museum is famous for the Klimt collection but there is more to see.
There is expressionism, like this painting from Ernst Ludwig Kirchner who was one of the founders of German expressionism. His work was considered “degenarate” by the Nazis and his paintings were sold or destroyed, which led to his suicide. This landscape is one from his late period.
There are some baroque paintings like this one of Napoleon crossing the Alps.
There are some still life paintings from Anna Maria Punz. I liked how the objects are hanging on the edges.
And of course, there is the Klimt collection, the main reason why I went. The museum was quite empty, because it was February, but the room with The Kiss was full. I liked it as much as the first time I saw it in 1997.
The lovers are also hanging on the edge.
A sunflower portrait with a similar composition as the women’s portraits.
Fritza Riedler with the wall background detail acting as a headpiece and drawing the attention to her head.
The landscape paintings made me wonder if Hockney was inspired by Klimt or if both share a similar perception of nature.
The unfinished portrait of Amalie Zuckerkandl, with the head finished before the rest. Amalie was murdered by the Nazis in Belzec extermination camp.
The museum used to have the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer until it was finally restituted in 2006 to her rightful owner. The movie “The Woman in Gold” tells the story. Recommended.
The portrait of Adele is now permanently on view at The Neue Gallery in New York.
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