Vienna highlights: a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum
If you are into culture, art, history and even food, a visit to Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art) is something you must put on your schedule. Make sure you allocate enough time to really enjoy many of the museum’s vast collections, there’s a lot to see. It is huge and quite impressive including the building itself which is done in a splendid Neo Baroque style and directly mimics the exact duplicate across the plaza which represents the Museum of Natural Sciences and History.
There are so many areas of extensive and permanent collections of the Kunsthistorische. I’ll share some of my favorites artists and areas of interests that I typically gravitate to when I visit something this grand an institution filled with so many magnificent collections of artwork and treasures.
The Kunstshistorisches has some of the finest collections of Masters in European art in the world. This museum houses many pieces by iconic master painters including: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Caravaggio and the list goes on of Italian, Spanish, Flemish and Dutch, and German masters. In one word it is quite ‘Impressive’. One of my favorite rooms is dedicated to Pieter Bruegel the Elder and his grand displays of everyday people and life with so much intricate detail and whimsy. It’s one of the finest collections assembled of his artwork anywhere in the world and definitely worth seeing when you are at this museum.
A student painter copies a master
The museum has many world collections of the finest Egyptian and near Eastern art work, Greek and Roman antiquities, Royal treasures, musical instruments, Imperial armory from various time frames and the extensive fine art picture of galleries. There’s a full gamut of fine art collections and treasuries housed in the many galleries of the museum to keep you wowed the entire day, if not weeks, but only if you have the will power to see all of these wonderful collections. My suggestion for visiting such a large institution, would be to spend some time at the information desk to get an overview and check out the catalog for any new or special exhibits and spend time in the galleries that appeal to your curiosity and aesthetic. Take a break and have a nice meal in the restaurant, and when you are recharged, go back and visit some of the galleries that are still on your list to check out.
Hapsburg gifts and treasures
Unlike the royal treasury located close by in the Hofburg Palace, the Hapsburg collection of treasures at the Kunsthistorisches Museum are mostly royal gifts given by dignitaries and rulers of other countries as a token of friendship or business collaborations with the Hapsburg rulers. There are many rooms allocated to the royal gifts which include elaborate artwork, jewelry, intricate boxes, statues and a variety of royal bric-a-brac that only one would present to a Hapsburg ruler.
The interior entry, hallways and galleries are stunning and exquisitely detailed with carvings, sculpture and ornately designed elements that showcase the museum in grand fashion. The main atrium and grand staircase are filled with impressive sculpture and architectural detail that makes a statement and grabs your attention immediately, to stop and study all the fine details and artistry. It’s interesting to look around the building from different vantage points like from the balconies above the rotunda looking below to the restaurant and main entries (above photo). There’s so much to absorb and enjoy on a macro and micro level, depending on how much you want to delved into the details and craftsmanship. The architectural interiors done in Neo-Baroque style definitely wow you when you enter and start seeing the various galleries. It’s the type of classical style that melds in well with the artwork presented and truly and enhances the entire collection.
What do you think, quite spectacular right? The Kunsthistorisches Museum is pretty amazing, but don’t get overloaded with too much to see at one time. I had to go outside and take a nice long lunch and after being refreshed from a nice meal, I went back to visit some of the other galleries that I was interested in checking out. There are so many impressive collections to see, but really pick and choose what looks interesting or you will definitely become overloaded with rooms filled with stuff!
Hope you enjoyed this visit to The Kunsthistorisches Museum, if you liked reading this, please do share it with any of the social media buttons on the post, thank you.