The core holdings of the Belvedere’s Modern Gallery, opened in 1903, were acquired in order to provide a comprehensive showcase for contemporary Austrian art and to place it in an international context, positioning it within the framework of the major art movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first substantial additions to the Modern Gallery’s collection came from exhibitions organized by the Secession. They form the foundation of the Belvedere’s collection – with art from the fin de siècle and Gustav Klimt’s Golden Period as the centrepiece. In addition to the largest number of paintings by Gustav Klimt in the world, the collection brings together masterpieces by such artists as Hans Makart, Anton Romako, Arnold Böcklin, Jean-François Millet, Emil Jakob Schindler, Carl Schuch, Auguste Rodin, Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
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