Monday, January 2, 2017

Austria: Amazing works of art at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

Vienna is known for its wonderful pastries and for the Viennese Waltz. Many people may not be aware of the depth and quality of the works of art that are available to see and appreciate. 

Vienna is a city filled with magnificent buildings and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Art History Museum is no exception. The building will impress you, the collection that it contains will leave you breathless. The collection spans the ancient to the 18th century. The core of the collection was developed from pieces owned by the Hapsburg family. Who better to own one of the finest collections of the old masters? 
The works of art at Vienna Museum of Fine Arts are world class.

Everyone has their own personal favorites when it comes to art. Mine is northern European and the collection at the Kunsthistorisches in no way disappointed, as a matter of fact, it is quite heavy in the work of the Dutch and Flemish artists.

Albrecht Durer, The Leonardo of the North, is well represented here.
Virgin and Child with Half a Pear. 1512
This is not the only Virgin and Child that Durer did, he has another one that also has the pear but this one is only half a pair that the baby is holding. Mary is dressed in the blue but this is not a pastel blue but rather a vibrant blue. Mary is looking down at the child who appears to be almost squirming in her arms and holding the half pear. A very beautiful and interesting piece done in oil on panel and Durer's visits to Italy are evident in the style and composition of this work.

There are several other Durer's in the collection at the Vienna Art Museum. There is a portrait of Maximillian I, A Venetian girl and an altarpiece.

VermeerThe Art of Painting
This painting has a very interesting history. For several hundred years the attribution to Vermeer was lost and it was believed to be the work of one of his contemporaries Pieter De Hooch, a false signature even appeared on the painting. It wasn't until the mid-19th century that it was recognized as the work of the master. During World War II it was sold to Adolph Hitler and finally ended up in the collection of the Vienna Art Museum. With so few of Vermeer's works having survived, any museum which has one in its collection is very blessed indeed.

Hans HolbeinJane Seymour
Hans Holbein is well known for his portraits of the Royal family of England. Among the most famous are his portraits of some of the wives of Henry VIII. 
Jane, of course, is wife number three and the one who produced a son who survived into young adulthood. This picture was done shortly after she married Henry in 1536. She shows all the seriousness one would expect of the future mother of the king. 

The collection of works of art Vienna Museum of Fine Arts  is very deep. It has several Rubens and Van Dykes and many, many others. These are just a few of the Northern European works you can only imagine what they have from Italy, France, Spain and England.

No comments:

Post a Comment