The Upper Belvedere in Vienna is the home of centuries of Austrian painting and arts.
I spent an afternoon there on Thursday. And what a lovely afternoon it was.
The Baroque Belvedere palaces, Prince Eugene of Savoy’s summer residence, were designed by Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, one of Central Europe’s greatest Baroque architects. (Prince Eugene was a big military genius who was the second most important person in Austria, after the Emperor.) Flash forward to 1955, and the treaty that returned Austria to an independent state was signed in the Marble Hall; and to 1970, when the SALT talks between the USA and USSR were held in the Marble Hall. I walked in that very hall today.
The museum is justly famous for its collection of Gustav Klimt. The entire collection is thoughtfully displayed and coherent in these grand rooms.
Here are some of my favorites from the day:
Iconic paintings of Empress Sisi and Kaiser Franz Joseph I —
A Rodin bust of Mahler–
A Munch painting —
St. Sebastian —
Young Cupid —
And of course, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss —
I noticed several of these Messerschmidt busts in the Imperial Furniture Museum on Tuesday. I’m glad to know more about them now!:
Here’s another painting that really grabbed me —