Last week, while I was in Kansas City, I visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
This kind of stuff makes me weak in the knees:
I enjoyed viewing this Chinese orchestra:
Persephone by Thomas Hart Benton:
The Chinese temple exhibit is one of the Nelson’s great glories:
This Stonehenge is one I don’t remember seeing before:
But the crowning jewel of the Nelson collection? This Caravaggio of St. John the Baptist. It’s gut-punching in person:
The view from the Marble Hall.
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.
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.
Details of lanterns on the grand staircase.
On the grand staircase landing.
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 —
Klimt is everywhere.
With work taking up all of Thursday, and a business dinner on Friday evening, I took some time on Friday to go to the Kunstshistorische Museum (an art museum) and also to the royal treasury of the Habsburgs.
The art museum has a major collection of Flemish paintings, and some Klimt murals.
This Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder is one of the most famous paintings in the collection:
I took a break for a lentil salad for lunch, in the museum dining room:
And then to the Hofburg:
And from the museum, check out the underbite on Leopold I:
The inbred royals!!