Medieval Art
Master of St. Michael´s, Sonntagberg Madonna, Vienna, c. 1360
Poplar, original grounding
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Meister von Großlobming, St. George, Vienna (?), late 14th cent.
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Birth of Christ, Salzburg (?), c. 1400
Painting on beech wood Kremsmünster Abbey/Upper Austria
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Tyrolean painter, Crucifixion of Wilten, ca. 1435
Painting on spruce wood 134 x 132 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Master of the Albrechtsaltar, Annunciation to Joachim, Vienna, c. 1435/40
Painting on spruce wood 96 x 61,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Conrad Laib, Crucifixion of Christ, Salzburg, 1449
Painting on spruce
Master of the Schottenaltar, Adoration of the Magi, c. 1470
Painting on oak From the former hifh altat of Vienna´s Schottenkirche
Rueland Frueauf the Elder, The Annunciation, 1490/91
One panel of the Salzburg altarpiece Painting on Spruce
Michael Pacher, Pope Sixtus II Bids Farewell to St Lawrence, ca. 1465
Painting on pine wood 104 x 100 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Michael Pacher, The Flagellation of Christ, before 1497/98
Salzburg Painting on Swiss stone pine
Hans Klocker, Mary from an Adoration Group, South Tyrol, c. 1485/90
Pine, painted and gilded 114 x 67 x 50 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Andreas Lackner, Enthroned St Blasius with the Sts Rupert and Maximilian, 1518
Basswood painted and gilded 118 x 38 x 19 cm (Hl. Rupert), 134 x 65,5 x 23 cm (Hl. Blasius), 118 x 36 x 19 cm (Hl. Maximilian)
Location: Oberes Belvedere

Internationally outstanding panel painting and sculpture from the Late Middle Ages are highlighted in the permanent exhibition at the Upper Belvedere. The remaining works of the museum’s superb medieval collection are on display in the Medieval Treasury study collection, installed in 2007 in the Palace Stables at the Lower Belvedere. This is the first time in the history of the museum that it is in a position to offer a comprehensive overview of one of the most significant collections of medieval art in Central Europe.

The Belvedere’s holdings comprise internationally outstanding works of Late Gothic sculpture and panel painting that give an overview of the most significant artistic developments of the International Gothic style from c. 1400 to the early sixteenth century. The works on view in the Upper Belvedere include exquisite sculptures exemplifying the so-called ‘Beautiful style’, as well as the impressive Znaim Altarpiece and works by Conrad Laib, the Master of the Altarpiece of the Abbey of the Scots in Vienna, Rueland Frueauf the Elder, and Michael Pacher.
The presentation starts with a sculpture gallery featuring works by the Master of Großlobming, a leading sculptor of the International Gothic style who was presumably active in Vienna around 1400. The Master of the Albrecht Altarpiece numbers among the most significant Vienna-based panel painters of the next generation, whose depiction of the Annunciation to Joachim (c. 1435–40) is a remarkably early example of a rendering of a natural light phenomenon.
The Znaim Altarpiece, probably executed in Vienna in the 1440s and still exhibiting its original polychromy, is impressive because of its monumentality and powerful expressivity. The large-sized panel of a Crucifixion by Conrad Laib from 1449, one of the principal works by the Salzburg-based painter, is characterized by a realistic sense of detail and a drastic rendering of Christ’s Passion.
Masterpieces of the subsequent generation include panels once forming part of the famous Altarpiece of the Abbey of the Scots, the largest and most important work of Late Gothic painting in Vienna. Eventually, Michael Pacher, the great master of South Tyrol, set new standards with his perspectival views and elaborately staged scenes revealing direct references to Italian models. The presentation features paintings from Pracher’s early Altarpiece of Saint Lawrence and his later Salzburg Altarpiece, the latter of which was the largest and most costly winged altar in the Alpine region.
A prominent example of advanced contemporary woodcarving is the group of figures of The Virgin Mary and Joseph from a Nativity altarpiece (?) by Hans Klocker, who, besides Michael Pacher, numbered among the leading masters in South Tyrol. The presentation concludes with three Bishops from the Abtenau Altarpiece by Andreas Lackner. Stylistically indebted to the work of the Bavarian sculptor Hans Leinberger, these highly individual and expressive figures anticipate the new image of man propagated by the Renaissance an.

Study Collection in the Palace Stables
Romanesque Crucifix
Tyrol, c. 1200 Alder wood From Stummerberg in Zillertal
Location: Prunkstall
Master of Großgmain, St. Ambrosius, 1498
Painting on fir Probably from Großgmain / Salzburg
Location: Prunkstall
Hans Klocker, St. Leonhard, South Tyrol, c. 1485
Swiss stone pine with polychromy and gilding
Location: Prunkstall
Meister der Habsburger, Anbetung der hl. Drei Könige (Fragment), Tyrol, c. 1500
Painting on fir
Location: Prunkstall
Sigismund "the Rich", Archduke of the Tyrol, c. 1480/90
Court Painter from Innsbruck (Ludwig Konraiter ?) Painting on spruce
Master of the Legend of St Oswald , Translation of St Oswald´s Bones, Styria, c. 1480/85
Painting on fir St Oswald in Eisenerz
Location: Prunkstall
Lienhart Scherhauff (Leonhard von Brixen), The Adoration of the Magi, South Tyrol, c. 1460
Painting on Swiss stone pine
Location: Prunkstall
Friedrich Pacher, The Holy Trinity flanked by St Mark and St Anthony the Hermit, after 1483
175,5 x 151,5 cm Mass frame: 176 x 151,6 x 7 cm
Location: Prunkstall
The Virgin on a Crescent Moon, Styria (?), c. 1430
Limewood with polychromy
Location: Prunkstall
Master of the St. Lambrecht Votive Panel, Crucifixion, Vienna, c. 1430
Painting on softwood 75 x 52 cm
Location: Prunkstall
Obervellach Altarpiece, Carinthia of Styria, c. 1400
Painting on softwood From Obervellach in Mölltal/Carinthia
Location: Prunkstall
Marx Reichlich, St. Maurice, Salzburg, early 16th cent.
Painting on spruce St. Peter’s Abbey in Salzburg
Location: Prunkstall

In 2007, this architectural jewel of the Baroque in the Lower Belvedere, where Prince Eugene of Savoy, the former landlord, accommodated his personal horses, was adapted as a show depot by the Berlin architects Kuehn Malvezzi. Today it is used as a place to provide new insights into medieval religious art. Focus exhibitions presenting current restoration projects and scientific findings related to exceptional works of art are installed here at regular intervals. With these additional facilities, the Belvedere has broken new ground in making its entire medieval holdings accessible to the public.
Today Prince Eugene’s Palace Stables accommodate a dense display of masterpieces of panel painting and sculpture, as well as Gothic polyptychs, including one of the earliest Austrian altarpieces of its kind: the Obervellach Altarpiece from c. 1400. Works by such well-known masters as Friedrich Pacher and Hans Klocker are installed side by side with numerous precious works by anonymous painters and sculptors. The presentation spans from a Romanesque Crucifix to the early sixteenth century, with a special focus on Late Gothic painting and sculpture. 
The Medieval Treasury study collection makes it possible for visitors to closely examine the works and deal with them scientifically. Seminars, guided tours, and school programmes are aimed at creating a dialogue between visitors and experts. Both scholars and students are granted direct access to these unique objects of the collection for the first time.


Daniel Gran, Diana received into Olympus, 1732
Oil on canvas 76 x 110 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Johann Michael Rottmayr, Susanna and the two Elders, c. 1692
Oil on canvas 118 x 169 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Martino Altomonte, Susanna and the two Elders, 1709
Oil on canvas 131 x 107 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Christoph Janneck, Outdoor Meriment with Dance, c. 1740
Oil on wood 41 x 62 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Martin Johann Schmidt, Saint Martin, 1772
Oil on canvas 273 x 145
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Veit Königer, Hercules killing Cacus, 1754
Wood Height: 49cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Anton Grassi, Skulpturengruppe (6-figurig): Bacchische Szene, 1781
Biscuit porcelain 42x33x28 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Joseph Roos the Elder, Landscape with graving cattle, 1766
Oil on wood 38 x 54,7 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Vinzenz Fischer, Triumphal Procession throug the Arch of Titus, 1791
Oil on canvas 52 x 74 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Anton Maulbertsch, The Holy Kinship, c. 1752/53
Oil on canvas 127 x 90 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Paul Troger, Andrew the Apostle, c. 1738
Oil on canvas 123 x 93 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Vinzenz Fischer, Allegory of the Transferral of the Imperial Gallery to the Belvedere, 1781
Oil on canvas 57 x 47 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere

The Belvedere’s collection conveys an impressive picture of the Baroque art produced in the lands of the former Habsburg Monarchy. The eighteenth century in particular is represented in almost encyclopaedic form by paintings and sculptures, with the sculpted Character Heads by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt as its drawing card. Another focus is on works by artists who either studied or taught at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts.
In the seventeenth century, it was primarily international artists who achieved great renown in the territory of present-day Austria. Only towards the end of the century can one begin to speak of Austrian painting of the High Baroque, which nonetheless was marked by a strong Italian influence. Among its prominent representatives, besides Martino Altomonte, are most notably pupils of the German-Venetian Johann Carl Loth, including Johann Michael Rottmayr, Hans Adam Weissenkircher, Johann Carl von Reslfeld, and not least Peter Strudel, who was a celebrated painter in his day and founded a protoacademy to ensure that young artists received an education. This academy, which engaged specialists from every genre, later became the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. From the eighteenth century onwards, the art of the Habsburg Empire was marked by the influence of the Vienna Academy, where painters like Jacob van Schuppen, Martin van Meytens, Paul Troger, Friedrich Heinrich Füger, and Johann Baptist Lampi the Elder were active as either professors or rectors. One of its foremost graduates was certainly Franz Anton Maulbertsch, whose expressive style broke with tradition and who later gained great popularity.
Other important artists of the time were the brothers Franz Anton and Franz Xaver Karl Palko, Franz Sigrist the Elder, Josef Ignaz Mildorfer, and Franz Anton Schunko, whose career is difficult to trace today. Many of the graduates scattered to the far corners of the Habsburg Monarchy, thereby spreading what they had practised and learned in Vienna.
After the death of Paul Strudel, one of the most outstanding and influential personalities in the field of sculpture in the first half of the eighteenth century was Georg Raphael Donner. Although he never belonged to the Academy, his style was nevertheless propagated at this institution by his younger brother Matthäus. Apart from them, Giovanni Giuliani and Lorenzo Mattielli were the most important masters active in Austria. Later on, Balthasar Ferdinand Moll, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, and Friedrich Wilhelm Beyer numbered among those sculptors who were in favour – especially with the imperial family. Johann Georg Dorfmeister, Johann Baptist Hagenauer, and members of the Schwanthaler dynasty were other important representatives, especially in terms of Austrian Baroque sculpture.
The diverse applications of art in the Baroque also required that an artist specialize in one of the various genres. While some artists – whether sculptors or painters – were able to succeed in portraiture, others would find work mainly decorating churches, convents and monasteries, or castles. Numerous oil sketches in the Belvedere’s collection are reminders of these large commissions for frescoes and altarpieces.
Several landscape painters also achieved major accomplishments. Johann Christian Brand occupies a special place in this area, for he not only contributed to the development of realistic landscape depictions, the so-called ‘landscape portraits’, but also paved the way for the landscape painting of the eighteenth century through his teaching at the Vienna Academy.
A primary task of Baroque painters and sculptors was the artistic decoration of churches, convents, and monasteries. It was precisely in this domain that masters like Paul Troger and Martin Johann Schmidt, called Kremser Schmidt, as well as Franz Anton Maulbertsch, created their most exceptional works. The Baroque principle of a harmonious interaction of the individual genres is illustrated by the palace chapel in the Upper Belvedere, with its altarpiece by Francesco Solimena and the frescoes by Carlo Innocenzo Carlone.

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, Second Beak Head, c. 1770
Gypsumalabaster Height 43 cm From the series so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, The Simpleton, c. 1770
Gypsumalabaster Height 41 cm From the series so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, An Arch-Rascal, c. 1770
Tin-lead alloy Height 38,5 cm From the series so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, A Mischievous Wag, c. 1770
Gypsumalabaster Height 34 cm From the series so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, An intentional Wag, c. 1770
Gypsum Alabaster Height 42 cm From the series of so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, A Haggard Old Man with Aching Eyes, c. 1770
Gypsum Alabaster Height 44,5 cm From the series of so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, A Strong Worker, c. 1770
From the series of so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, Emperor Francis I Stephan of Lorraine (1708-1765), before 1766
Tin-lead alloy Height 216 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, A Strong Worker, c. 1770
From the series of so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, An Old Cheerful Smiler, c. 1770
Wood with wax edition Height 36 cm From the series so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, Gerard van Swieten (Leibarzt der Kaiserin Maria Theresia, 1770-1772), 1769
Lead-tin alloy, gold plated Height 66 cm
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, A Hanged Man, c. 1770
Gypsum Alabaster Height 38 cm From the series of so called "character heads"
Location: Oberes Belvedere

The Swabian Franz Xaver Messerschmidt is one of the most fascinating sculptors of the Enlightenment. He enjoyed great success working in Vienna for the imperial family under Maria Theresa and was one of the first artists of his time to break with the traditional formula for grand Baroque portraits in favour of Neoclassicism. Due to a personal crisis around 1770, both his work and life circumstances took a radical turn, which resulted in his most famous group of works, the studies of heads known today as Character Heads.
Born into humble beginnings in 1736, Messerschmidt learned the skills of his craft from his uncle, the Munich court sculptor Johann Baptist Straub. Then, after having completed his studies at the Vienna Academy, he took up a position as a bronze chaser at the Imperial Armoury in Vienna’s Renngasse.
The gilded bronze busts of Maria Theresa and Francis I Stephen of Lorraine for the Imperial Hall in the Armoury were his first major commission. Messerschmidt’s early works – the statues of the imperial couple, the reliefs of Joseph II and his consort, and the gilded bronze bust of Gerard van Swieten – fulfil all of the requirements of Baroque representational portraiture and demonstrate integration into Vienna’s artistic tradition.
From the beginning of the 1770s, the curves and pathos of the Baroque yielded to a cooler austerity and relentless precision in the rendering of a likeness. With his aggressive skill in characterization, Messerschmidt prepared the way for truth in the portrayal of individuals. This absolute break with tradition must have come as a result of a critical change in his life. His illness, failure at the Academy, and loss of clients drove Messerschmidt into isolation. He moved to Pressburg (now Bratislava), where his most famous group of works today, the studies of heads known as Character Heads, was created.
Messerschmidt worked obsessively on these altogether 69 heads, the majority of whose faces are contorted into extreme grimaces. The spectrum of heads, which he conversationally referred to as his ‘Portreen’ – portraits – extends from natural-appearing busts modelled after those of antiquity to heads with exaggerated, highly expressive facial features whose supreme exertions manifest emotions that defy interpretation. With its 16 original heads, the Belvedere possesses not only the world’s largest collection from this group of works, but also numerous plaster casts of the total of 54 extant works. Messerschmidt died in Pressburg in 1783.

Classicism | Romanticism
Friedrich Heinrich Füger, The Actress Josepha Hortensia Füger, the Artist´s Wife, c. 1797
Oil on canvas 113 x 88,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Angelika Kauffmann, Lord John Simpson, Father of Maria Susanna, Lady Ravensworth, 1773
Oil on canvas 127 x 101,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon at the Great St. Bernhard Pass, 1801
Oil on canvas 275 x 232 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Joseph von Führich, Forest Peace (Madonna with Child, St. Adelheid and St. Francis), 1835
Oil on canvas 134 x 100 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Moritz von Schwind, Kaiser Maximilian I. on the Martinswand, c. 1860
Oil on wood 60 x 43 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Johann Evangelist Scheffer von Leonhardshoff, The Dead Saint Caecilia (Roman Version), 1820/21
Oil on canvas 146 x 193 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Josef Anton Koch, Bernese Oberland, 1815
Oil on canvas 70 x 89 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Caspar David Friedrich, Rocky Landscape in the Elbsandsteingebirge, c. 1822/23
Oil on canvas 94 x 74 cm
Jacob Philipp Hackert, The Great Waterfall at Tivoli near Rome, 1790
Oil on canvas 126 x 171 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Joseph Rebell, The Port to Granatella near Portici (Neapel) with Vesuvius in the Background, 1819
Oil on canvas 98 x 137 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
François Pascal Simon Gérard, The Imperial Count Moritz Christian Fries and his Family, c. 1804
Oil on canvas 223 x 163,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld, The Spreading Pine Tree in the Brühl Valley near Mödling, 1838
Oil on canvas 66 x 112 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere

Neoclassicism originated in Italy and French painting provided impetus that pointed the way ahead. Artists deliberately turned away from the dramatic movement and opulence of the Baroque style and aspired to calm expression and clarity of outline.
In addition to works by the leading masters of Neoclassicism Jacques-Louis David and François Gérard, the Belvedere owns paintings by other key artists, such as Josef Rebell, Jakob Philipp Hackert, Angelica Kauffmann, and Friedrich Heinrich Füger.
Subjects from history and literature were particularly popular in the era of Neoclassicism and so history painting enjoyed the greatest prestige. Yet current events also made an appearance. These first emerged in French painting to serve Napoleon’s propagandist ambitions, of which the equestrian painting showing Napoleon on the Great St. Bernhard Pass by Jacques-Louis David (1801) is a striking example.
At approximately the same time, the French artist François Gérard painted the family portrait The Imperial Count Moritz Christian von Fries with his Wife Maria Theresia Josepha and their Son Moritz (c. 1804). This large-scale painting reveals clear, bold colors and precise lines in contrast to the British painting tradition that is characterized by spirited brushwork and an execution that tended more to suggestion than description. Angelica Kauffmann, who lived in England for many years, conveys an impression of this painting style in her portrait of John Simpson (1773), one of her most superb portrayals.
The most versatile Austrian artist in the period around 1800 was Friedrich Heinrich Füger. He was the Director of the Vienna Art Academy and was later in charge of the Imperial Picture Gallery at the Belvedere. Among his contemporaries he was renowned for his history painting but posterity has remembered him most for his portraits. The painting of his wife, the actress Josefa Hortensia Füger (c. 1797), draws out the personality of his sitter with great sensitivity while at the same time adopting the current mode of Western European portraiture in his own personal idiom.
The move toward a true-to-life depiction of the visible world in the late eighteenth century is most evident in landscape painting. Jakob Philipp Hackert, who frequently traveled in Italy, is a case in point. Even early on, he aimed to depict a recognizable scene, as demonstrated by his work Waterfalls at Tivoli (1790). A few years later, Josef Rebell captured sun-drenched views from around Naples in brilliant daylight, anticipating the realistic landscapes of the so-called Biedermeier era.
The Romantic movement in the early nineteenth century is represented at the Belvedere by a number of important works. The superbly painted landscapes by Caspar David Friedrich, a leading figure in Romanticism, are not confined to a mere representation of the world around but try to fathom the relationship between humanity and nature. The sandstone columns in his Rocky Landscape in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains of 1822–23, tower upward, dramatic and sublime, making the area in the foreground appear dangerous and practically impassable.
By contrast, the Tyrolean artist Josef Anton Koch aimed to capture divine creation in his images of nature, as shown in his painting Bernese Oberland (1815). By transforming the classical ideal landscape into the heroic mountainous scene he aspired, as he himself stated, to give a total impression of the essence of the Alps.
The philosophy of a group of young artists, the Nazarenes, pointed in another direction. In 1809 they had formed the Brotherhood of St. Luke (Lukasbund) in Vienna as a reaction against academic principles. They refused to draw from antique models and rejected Baroque colorism. Instead, the group returned to medieval ideals, they were dedicated to Early Renaissance Italian painting, and emulated artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Raphael. Their members strove for serenity both in the compositions and spirit of their works. They concentrated on religious subjects and tried to give tangible expression to their faith. In 1810 they embarked for Rome. One member of the group was the Viennese artist Johann Evangelist Scheffer von Leonhardshoff, who died so prematurely and whose Dead Saint Cecilia is a masterpiece of the Austrian Nazarenes.
Josef von Führich, Leopold Kupelwieser, Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld, and Moritz von Schwind were all artists who worked on the cusp between religious Romanticism and history painting. Aiming to secure the status of the Austrian Empire, which had been founded in 1804, they selected subjects from the history of the Habsburgs that revealed a close connection between the imperial family and the Catholic Church. The founder of the dynasty Rudolf of Habsburg and Emperor Maximilian I were frequently depicted.

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, A Girl Adorning the Virgin with a Rose, 1836
Oil on wood 55,5 x 44,5 cm
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Prince Esterházy's Councillor Mathias Kerzmann with his Second Wife (née Countess Majlath) and his Daughter Maria, 1835
Oil on canvas 205 x 158 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Self-Portrait as a young Man, 1828
Oil on canvas 95,2 x 75,2 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, The Godmother's Departure (After Confirmation), 1859
Oil on wood 80,5 x 61 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Early Spring in the Vienna Woods, 1861
Oil on wood 52 x 65,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, On Corpus Christi Morning, 1857
Oil on wood 65 x 82 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Exhausted Strength, 1854
Oil on canvas 63 x 75 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Large Landscape in the Prater, 1849
Oil on wood 70 x 93 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, The Ruin of Liechtenstein Castle near Mödling, 1848
Oil on canvas 55,5 x 68 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Trailing Grapes, 1841
Oil on canvas 39 x 48 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Still Life with Fruit, Flowers and a Silver Trophy, 1839
Oil on wood 63,8 x 50 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Philippine Böhmer (Mädchen mit Strohhut), 1824 - 1828
Oil on canvas 54 x 41 cm

1793 Vienna ? 1865 Hinterbrühl near Vienna
Waldmüller is the most important Austrian artist of the nineteenth century. His name is always associated with the so-called Biedermeier era and yet his art reached beyond this period, both in date and in the realism of its images and the power of their pictorial messages. Indeed, the works that account for Waldmüller’s international acclaim – such as Corpus Christi Morning (1857) or Early Spring in the Vienna Woods (1861) – were painted long after the Biedermeier era.
Waldmüller was the leading master in all the fundamental subjects of the day. Significant portraits, landscapes, genre scenes, and still lifes were all captured by his brush. Whether in the conquest of landscape and the convincing rendering of proximity and distance, the accurate characterization of people’s faces, the detailed, exquisitely meticulous textures, or the witty description of rural life, his works were always in the vanguard. Waldmüller describes, explains, moralizes, and is critical of society all at once. In his late career, the master even surpassed himself by taking genre painting into a new realm, combining it with a depiction of nature to create a harmonious whole.
The Belvedere houses the world’s largest collection of Waldmüller’s paintings. Furthermore, the museum owns the Waldmüller Archive and through continuous research is amassing knowledge about the painter’s work.

Location: Oberes Belvedere
Friedrich von Amerling, Lute-Player, 1838
Oil on canvas 99 x 82 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Self-Portrait as a young Man, 1828
Oil on canvas 95,2 x 75,2 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Friedrich Loos, View from Mönchsberg HIll of the Hohensalzburg Fortress, 1826-1835
Oil on carton 30 x 40,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Friedrich Gauermann, Lake Altaussee with the Dachstein Massif, c. 1827
Oil on canvas 44 x 57 cm
Michael Neder, Coachdriver´s Quarrel, 1828
Oil on canvas 58 x 71 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Peter Fendi, Girl in Front of the Lottery, 1829
Oil on canvas 63 x 50 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Johann Knapp, Jacquin`s Monument, 1821/22
Oil on canvas 218 x 164 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Rudolf von Alt, St. Stephans Cathedral in Vienna, 1832
Oil on canvas 46 x 57,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Johann Baptist Reiter, Slumbering Woman, 1849
Oil on canvas 55 x 68 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Eugène Delacroix, Still Life with Flowers, c. 1834
Oil on canvas 74 x 92,8
Location: Oberes Belvedere

The Biedermeier era covers the period between the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15 and the revolution year of 1848. Yet paintings as late as the 1860s have been attributed to this epoch. The pictures are characterized by striving for a true-to-life representation of the visible world and are thus termed Biedermeier Realism. This period’s most important artists were Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Josef Danhauser, Friedrich von Amerling, Peter Fendi, Michael Neder, Johann Baptist Reiter, and Friedrich Gauermann.
The Belvedere owns the world’s most comprehensive and significant collection of works from the Biedermeier era. It originated from the wish of Emperor Franz II (I) and Ferdinand I to acquire at least one work by every contemporary artist. It is thanks to this endeavor that today one can superbly trace the development of Austrian art in the first decades of the nineteenth century.
In landscape painting artists were in constant quest for true-to-life realism. Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller’s views of the Prater park in Vienna and the Salzkammergut from the 1830s demonstrate these concerns, as does Landscape near Miesenbach by Friedrich Gauermann and the scenes from Salzburg by Friedrich Loos.
In portraiture the aim was to capture a complete image of the person, rendering sitters with all their individual idiosyncrasies. Whereas Waldmüller depicted people with maximum realism, as if presenting a “snapshot”, Friedrich von Amerling strove to create a complete image, in which the sitters’ emotions were captured as well. Thus, his large-scale portrait Rudolf von Arthaber and his Children Rudolf, Emilie, and Gustav (1837) addresses the family’s grief after losing their wife and mother.
In the Biedermeier era, flower and fruit painting excelled in painterly quality, supported by well-researched scientific observation. This is demonstrated by many examples in the collection, including the large-scale painting Jacquin’s Monument by Johann Knapp.
In the first half of the nineteenth century genre painting developed its own distinctive character. This usually focused on episodes from everyday life, occasionally tackling current events. Peter Fendi, for instance, addressed the thriving gambling industry in his painting Girl at the Lottery (1829). Artists’ own experiences were also documented, as the Coach Drivers’ Quarrel (1828) by Michael Neder reflects. Josef Danhauser, on the other hand, transported literary subjects into the present day, thus highlighting their timelessness. For example, the artist based his painting The Rich Glutton (1836) on the Biblical parable of the rich man and Lazarus. In his Monastery Soup (1838) he continued the story: the rebuffed beggar forgives the now poverty-stricken glutton by offering to share his bread with him.

Anselm Feuerbach, Orpheus and Eurydike, 1869
Oil on canvas 200 x 126,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Makart, Clothilde Beer, the Artist\u2019s Cousin
Hans Makart\nClothilde Beer, the Artist\u2019s Cousin, c. 1880\nOil on wood\n82 x 68 cm\nBelvedere, Vienna
Hans Makart, Venedig huldigt Caterina Cornaro (1454-1510), 1872/73
Oil on wood 400 x 1060 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Carl Karger, Arrival of a Train at Vienna Northwestern Station, 1875
Oil on canvas 91 x 171 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Fritz von Uhde, Fishermen’s Children in Zandvoort, 1882
Oil on canvas 60,5 x 80,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Wilhelm Leibl, Head of a Peasant Girl, c. 1880
Oil on wood 30 x 27,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Leopold Carl Müller, Market in Cairo, 1878
Oil on canvas 136 x 216 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Franz von Defregger, Last Contingent, 1874
Oil on canvas 139 x 191 cm
Anton Romako, Admiral Tegetthoff in the Naval Battle of Lissa II, c. 1878/80
Oil on wood 87 x 48 cm
Anton Romako, Italian Fisher Boy, 1870/75
Oil on canvas 89 x 70 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Hans Canon, Loge Johannis, 1873
Oil on canvas 320 x 208 cm
Viktor Tilgner, Geologe Ami (Amadée) Boué, 1878
Terracotta Height: 60 cm, incl. Socle: 75 cm

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.

In a sensual, narrative style, Historicist art establishes a connection to bygone art epochs, with depictions of historical events, staged portraits, and allegories as the predominant subjects. The diversity of the times is reflected in the pictures by the history painter Franz Defregger, the unconventional Anton Romako, and the Orientalist Leopold Carl Müller, as well as the Baroque formal repertoire of Hans Canon. In Vienna, this epoch is also called the Makart era, after its most prominent representative. Many of Makart’s principal works are on display in the Belvedere, which is home to the premier collection of art from the Ringstrasse era.
Born in Salzburg in 1840, Hans Makart had studied with Piloty in Munich before coming to Vienna in 1869 at the emperor’s behest. In 1879 he was appointed professor of history painting at the Academy. His breathtakingly sensual paintings are striking for their technical brilliance, something Makart took pleasure in publicly demonstrating at studio parties. Basically, all of his works – including the superb portraits Magdalena Plach (1870) and Eugenie Scheuffelen (1867) – can be regarded as superb dramatic stagings. The same opulence is apparent in Makart’s allegories of The Five Senses (1872–79) and his monumental painting Bacchus and Ariadne (1873/74), which was originally designed to be the curtain in the Komische Oper (Ringtheater). This work, like The Nile Hunt (1876) and Venice Pays Homage to Caterina Cornaro (1872/73), belongs to the group of sensational pictures. The latter work, which was presented during the Vienna World’s Fair, combines in exemplary fashion historical reality with a fictitious pictorial splendour and a staged image enhancement of the middle class. Hans Canon was another who cultivated the formal language of the Baroque, through his references to Rubens and Rembrandt. One of his finest works, The Lodge of Saint John (1873), which was also shown at the World’s Fair, pictorializes the concept of ideological tolerance. The positive response elicited by this painting allowed Canon to return to Vienna, where he established himself beside Makart as a portrait painter of Vienna’s high society.
Among the artists of the day in Vienna was Anselm Feuerbach, who, like Makart, enjoyed international acclaim. Born the son of an archaeologist in Speyer, he had spent a long time in Italy before being summoned in 1872 to the Academy in Vienna. Feuerbach, like his successor at the Academy, Hans Makart, soon distanced himself from history painting. His subjects are often mythological in nature – as, for example, his Orpheus and Eurydice (1869); his works, in contrast to those of Makart, demonstrate a strict formal structure and a reserved use of colour.
Whereas Makart and Feuerbach abandoned narrative history painting, Anton Romako transformed it by interpreting crucial situations from a psychological point of view. In his picture Tegetthoff in the Naval Battle of Lissa I (1878–1880), instead of depicting a conventional sea battle panorama, he presents the decisive moment in the battle as a drama, clearly evident in the reactions of the participants. Besides the high degree of psychological content, Romako’s portraits – for example, his Italian Fisherboy (c. 1870–75) – also display an application of painting techniques that was unconventional for the time, but which was greatly admired and adopted by the Austrian Expressionists, above all by Kokoschka.

Jean-Francois Millet, The Plain of Chailly with Harrow and Plough, 1862
Oil on wood 60 x 73 cm
Max Liebermann, Hunter in the Dunes, 1913
Oil on canvas 70,5 x 100,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Lovis Corinth, Woman Reading near a Goldfish Tank, 1911
Oil on canvas 74 x 90,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Pierre Auguste Renoir, After the Bath, 1876
Oil on canvas 92,4 x 73,2 cm
Aristide Maillol, Action in Bondage, 1905
Bronze Height 215 cm © VBK, Vienna 2008
Edouard Manet, Dame im Pelz, c. 1880
Pastell on canvas 55,8 x 45,8 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Claude Monet, Cook (Monsieur Paul), 1882
Oil on canvas 65 x 52 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Claude Monet, Path in Monet's Garden in Giverny, 1902
Oil on canvas 89,5 x 92,3 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Olga Wisinger-Florian, Flowering Poppies, 1895/1900
Oil on carton 70 x 98 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Schindler. The Steamboat Landing Stage on the Danube at Kaiserm\xfchlen
Emil Jakob Schindler\nThe Steamboat Landing Stage on the Danube at Kaiserm\xfchlen, c. 1871/72\nOil on canvas, 55 x 78.5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Camille Jacob Pissarro, Street in Pontoise (Rue de Gisors), 1868
Oil on canvas 38,5 x 46 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Vincent van Gogh, The Plain of Auvers, 1890
Oil on canvas 50 x 101 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere

If the painters of the Barbizon School had given plein air painting a new importance, the French Impressionists went one step further: their pictures were meant to capture the impression of a moment – the instantaneity of its fleeting light effects. At the same time, this painting style should also be radically contemporary and express the modern view of life in a changing society.  
In Austria, Impressionism developed a totally unique variation: although the pictures here in many cases were also the result of uncompromising outdoor painting, the sensitive reproduction of an atmosphere seemed more important to the artists than transitory light effects or pure colours. This development ran concurrently with French Impressionism, which is represented in the collection with works by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
In sharp contrast to the themes of history painting, which were regarded as meaningful, plain landscapes increasingly became the chosen subject of a number of artists in the mid-nineteenth century. These Impressionist works are characterized by heavily cropped views, the exact observation of light and weather conditions, and the analytical breakdown of tonal atmospheres into colour values achieved by setting dabs of paint side by side.
A visit to the International Art Exhibition in Munich in 1869 had affirmed Austrian painters in their ambitions to depict simple motifs from the suburbs or landscapes from the environs of Vienna. So it was that Emil Jakob Schindler’s Steamboat Station at Kaisermühlen on the Danube (1871/72) and Camille Pissarro’s Street in Pontoise (1868) were created at almost the same time, and Olga Wisinger-Florian’s Blooming Poppy (1895/1900) was painted somewhat earlier than Claude Monet’s Garden Path at Giverny (1902).
In complete accord with the original intention for the Modern Gallery, the Belvedere collection includes works by artists both from home and abroad: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, and Edgar Degas represent Impressionism, whereas Still Life with Blue Bottle, Sugar Bowl and Apples (1900–2) by Paul Cézanne and The Plain at Auvers by Vincent van Gogh already usher in the transition to Modernism.
The Berlin Secession, led by Max Liebermann, was entirely dominated by Impressionism. Outstanding examples, such as Hunter in the Dunes (1913) by Liebermann, The Herzogstand on Walchensee in the Snow (1922) by Lovis Corinth, and Boys Bathing (1911) by Max Slevogt, reveal the free brushwork and intimate cropped effect so typical of German Impressionism.
Carl Schuch, one of the most individualistic of the Austrian artists, seems to have been a maverick concerning the movements of the time. Born in 1846, he, like Manet, completely eschewed Historicism. And as with Manet, or Leibl and Trübner in Germany, the realism of Courbet – represented in the collection by such works as The Wounded Man – was Schuch’s point of departure in his efforts to achieve an artistic renewal. His still lifes are among his greatest achievements, as can be seen at the Belvedere in such paintings as Still Life with Pumpkin, Peaches and Grapes (c. 1884). They bring to mind works by Cézanne, like Still Life with Blue Bottle, Sugar Bowl and Apples (1900–2), which they in fact preceded.

Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt, Kiss, 1908/1909
Oil on canvas\n180 x 180 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Gustav Klimt, Girlfriends (Water Serpents I), 1904-1907
Mixing technique, gold on vellum 50 x 20 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Gustav Klimt, Johanna Staude, 1917/18
Incomplete Oil on canvas 70 x 50 cm
Gustav Klimt, Adam and Eva, 1917/18
Oil on canvas, incomplete 173 x 60 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Gustav Klimt, Fritza Riedler
Gustav Klimt, Beethoven Frieze: "The Arts", "Paradise Choir" and "The Embracement", 1901/02
After Richard Wagners interpretation of IX. Sinfonie von Ludwig van Beethoven As a loan in the secession Kaseinfarben, Stuckauflagen, Zeichenstift, Applikationen aus verschiedenen Materialien, Goldauflagen auf Mörtel Total length 34,14 m Height 2,15 m
Gustav Klimt, Sonja Knips, 1898
Oil on canvas 141 x 141 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Gustav Klimt, Josef Lewinsky as Carlos in Clavigo, 1895
Oil on canvas 60 x 44 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Gustav Klimt, Avenue to Schloss Kammer, c. 1912
Oil on canvas 110 x 110 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Gustav Klimt, Judith, 1901
Gustav Klimt, Bride, 1917/1918
Incomplete Oil in canvas 165 x 191 cm Property of the Gustav Klimt | Wien 1900 – Privatstiftung, Vienna

1862 Vienna – 1918 Vienna
Owning altogether 24 works – portraits, landscapes, and allegorical scenes – by this renowned Austrian painter, the Belvedere houses the world’s largest collection of oil paintings by Klimt. A co-founder of the Secession and initiator of both the Kunstschau of 1908 and the Internationale Kunstschau of the subsequent year, Klimt contributed considerably to the international avant-garde’s breakthrough in Vienna. The Belvedere’s collection illustrates Klimt’s development from his initial attempts at Historicism to his Secessionist style and late period, in which he also responded to Fauve influences and the younger generation of Austrian artists, including Egon Schiele.
Gustav Klimt was born on 14 July 1862, the second of seven children. When still studying at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts, he founded a studio co-operative, the so-called Künstler-Compagnie or Company of Artists, together with his brother Ernst and Franz Matsch, one of his fellow students. Besides commissions related to the interior decoration of the municipal theatres of Karlsbad, Reichenberg, and Rijeka, the artists were entrusted with similar projects for the Vienna Burgtheater and the Museum of Art History in Vienna in the course of the development of the Ringstrasse.
In 1897, Klimt was among the founders of the Vienna Secession and became its first president. He was deeply committed to a renewal of the arts and the promotion of young artists, such as Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. However, a scandal flaring up over his Faculty Paintings in 1905 caused the artist to withdraw from public life. Henceforth, Klimt exclusively worked for the liberal-minded upper classes, painting his world-famous portraits of ladies. Their stylistic development is impressively visualized, from the early portrait of Sonja Knips (1898) to that of Fritza Riedler (1906), a sophisticated example of a rigid two-dimensional and ornamental painting style, and then on to the accomplished likeness of Johanna Staude (1917/18). Apart from these portraits, Klimt created mainly allegorical and symbolist works, the most famous of which is his depiction of two lovers (The Kiss, 1908).
During the summer months, Klimt frequently retired to Lake Atter in Upper Austria, where created most of his landscapes, like Poppy Field (1907), Sunflower (1907), and Avenue in the Park of Schloss Kammer (1912).
Gustav Klimt died from a stroke on 6 February 1918, at the age of 56 years. He left behind numerous unfinished paintings, including The Bride and Adam and Eve.

Oskar Kokoschka
Oskar Kokoschka, The Painter Carl Moll, 1913
Oil on canvas 128 x 95,5 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, Dr. Bassa's Magic Form, 1951
Oil on canvas on beaver board 100 x 75 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, The Treasurer, 1910
Oil on canvas 74 x 59 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, Herodot, 1963
Oil on canvas 180 x 120 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, Romana Kokoschka, the Artist's Mother, 1917
Oil on canvas 112 x 75 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, Still Life with Mutton and Haycinth, 1910
Oil on canvas 87 x 114 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, The Tigon, 1926
Oil on canvas 96 x 129 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, The Vienna State Opera, 1956
Oil on canvas 82 x 115 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, The Visitation, 1912
Oil on canvas 80 x 127 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, Der Prager Hafen, 1936
Oil on canvas 91 x 117 cm
1886 Pöchlarn – 1980 Montreux
A painter, graphic artist, and writer, Oskar Kokoschka was a seminal pioneer of Expressionism. Even his early portraits reflect his intention of turning the sitter’s state of mind inside out, thereby discarding the common requirements of portraiture.
The Belvedere’s holdings of works by Oskar Kokoschka comprise twelve oil paintings, five of which are portraits. The foundation for this impressive collection was laid with the acquisition of the still life Lamb and Hyacinth (1910). The gloomy composition displays an idiosyncratic and oppressive array of attributes, embedded in a magic, eerie light.
Kokoschka’s disturbing works scandalized the public at an early point in time. When he first appeared in an exhibition within the framework of the famous Vienna Art Show in 1908, the nickname Chief of the Wild Ones (Oberwildling) was assigned to him. Following his initial enthusiasm for Viennese Art Nouveau and his involvement with the Wiener Werkstätte, he took a radical turn, abandoning the line of beauty and aesthetics of Art Nouveau. From now on, Kokoschka’s art was informed by the avant-garde of Expressionism. His portraits, such as that of young Fred Goldmann (1909) or that of the energetic painter and organizer Carl Moll (1913), reflect the sitters’ inner lives, i.e., their states of mind or souls, rather than being blunt depictions of outer appearance. Kokoschka’s talents as a graphic artist and writer were also brought to bear during his affiliation with the Berlin-based avant-garde periodical Der Sturm. From 1916 on, the artist lived in Dresden, where he was appointed professor in 1919. Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (1917), which dates from his early period in Dresden, is characterized by a thick, undulating application of paint. The picture Mother and Child (1922), also painted in Dresden, if several years later, resembles a brilliant pictorial carpet composed of intensely coloured patches.
Kokoschka’s life, marked by a long, fateful career, with many travels and extensive stays abroad, is reflected in his cityscapes, including Prague Harbour (1936). In 1937, as many as 417 works by Kokoschka were seized within the campaign identifying degenerate art.  Denounced and persecuted by the National Socialists as a degenerate artist, he emigrated to London via Prague in 1938.
In 1980, when Oskar Kokoschka died in Montreux, the Belvedere acquired another idiosyncratic portrait by the acclaimed painter of souls: Tiger Lion (1926). In this painting, he succeeded in capturing the vehemence, strength, and majestic grandeur of the animal, which he portrayed in London Zoo in Regent’s Park. Works dating from his later period also figure in the collection, including his monumental painting Herodotus (1960–72), which grew layer by layer over many, many years. In Herodotus’ face, we can catch glimpses of the artist’s own features.
Fin de siècle and Viennese Secession
Giovanni Segantini, The Evil Mothers, 1894
Oil on canvas 105 x 200 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ludwig von Hofmann, Idyll (Male and Female Semi-nudes in the Landscape), 1894/1895
Oil on canvas 206 x 324 cm
Richard Teschner, Kleine Stadt, 1903
Oil on canvas 71 x 58 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Emil Orlik, Winter, 1914
Oil on canvas 90 x 80 cm
Margaret MacDonald-Mackintosh, June Roses, 1898
Pencil and watercolours on paper 103 x 45 cm
Edvard Jacob Munch, The Painter Paul Hermann and the Physician Paul Contard, 1897
Oil on canvas 54 x 73 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Koloman Moser, Self-Portrait, c. 1916
Oil on canvas 74 x 50 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Carl Moll, Twilight, 1900
Oil on canvas 80 x 94,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ferdinand Hodler, Emotion, 1900
Oil on canvas 115 x 70,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Fernand Khnopff, Half-figure of a Nymph, 1896
Cement, coloured, on gilded socle of wood Height: 99 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Max Klinger The Judgment of Paris, 1885-1887
Oil on canvas, framing on wood and cement 370 x 720 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Josef Engelhart, Pülcher, 1888
Tempera on paper 121 x 70 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere

The Vienna Secession was established on 3 April 1897 by Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Max Kurzweil, Josef Engelhart, Ernst Stöhr, Wilhelm List, and other artists. It was a ‘secession’ indeed, a split-off from the Vienna Society of Visual Artists (Künstlerhaus) that had been motivated by a vehement rejection of the latter’s conservatism and notion of art still rooted in Historicism. The Secession’s first exhibition was held in 1898. Pursuing the goal of an artistic renewal and opening, the Secession saw it as one of its priorities to provide insights into modern art production abroad. In this sense, it was considered a forum of the international avant-garde that redefined and repositioned both itself and the country’s art.
Prominent donations the Secession made to the Modern Gallery, which had been founded in 1903 and preceded the Belvedere as an institution, included The Plains of Auvers (1890) by Vincent van Gogh, the bust of Henri de Rochefort-Luçay (1897) by Auguste Rodin, and The Evil Mothers (1894) by Giovanni Segantini; these works marked the beginnings of today’s internationally acclaimed collection of early twentieth-century art. At its heart is the Secession itself, personified by Gustav Klimt, whose masterpiece The Kiss (1908) is regarded as the monumental icon of Viennese Art Nouveau.
In 1905, Gustav Klimt and a group of artists and architects, such as Otto Wagner, Josef Hoffmann, Richard Luksch, Wilhelm Bernatzik, Max Kurzweil, Wilhelm List, Carl Moll, Koloman Moser, and Emil Orlik, left the Secession. The fundamental issue that had been up for discussion was whether the decorative arts should be included in the prevalent concept of art. Klimt and his like-minded colleagues fervently advocated for art and everyday life to merge and form a unity. With its outstanding exhibition events Kunstschau (1908) and Internationale Kunstschau (1909), the Klimt Group offered such young talents as Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, Max Oppenheimer, and many others a future-oriented platform.

Egon Schiele
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Egon Schiele, Dr. Franz Martin Haberditzl, 1917
Oil on canvas 140 x 110 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Egon Schiele, Dr. Hugo Koller, 1918
Oil on canvas 140 x 110 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Egon Schiele, Four Trees, 1917
Oil on canvas 111 x 140 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Egon Schiele, Portrait of the Artist's Wife, Edith Schiele, sitzend, 1918
Oil on canvas 140 x 110 cm
Egon Schiele, The Family (Squatting Couple), 1918
Oil on canvas 150 x 160 cm
Egon Schiele, Mother with Two Children III (Mother III), 1915-1917
Oil on canvas 150 x 160 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Egon Schiele, House Wall (Window Wall), 1914
Oil on canvas 111 x 142 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Egon Schiele, Sunflowers I, 1911
Oil on canvas 90 x 81 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Egon Schiele, The Embrace (Couple II), 1917
Oil on canvas 98 x 169 cm
Egon Schiele, The Rainer Boy (Portrait of Herbert Rainer at the Age of About Six), 1910
Oil on canvas 101 x 102 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Egon Schiele, Death and Maiden, 1915
Oil on canvas 150 x 180 cm

1890 Tulln – 1918 Vienna
Besides Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele ranks among the most outstanding artists of Viennese Modernism. While still studying art in Vienna, Schiele rapidly developed his own, unmistakeable language of form. Starting out from Art Nouveau, he combined ornamental structure with a fractured line and expressive colouring. Egon Schiele was born in Tulln in 1890 and grew up in humble conditions. Despite the protests of his uncle and guardian, Leopold Czihaczek, Schiele took the demanding entrance exam at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 1906. However, he dropped out after only three years, due to fierce controversies with his professor, Christian Griepenkerl, who was opposed to all innovation in the visual arts. In 1909, Schiele founded the New Art Group together with such young artist friends as Anton Faistauer and Franz Wiegele. That same year, the group first presented itself at the Vienna Salon Pisko, but, after several exhibitions that were to follow, remained only loosely connected.
Schiele’s portraits, figural compositions, and landscapes are frequently governed by the tensions revolving around the subjects of love and solitude, life and death. The motif of coming into existence and subsequent decay is a constantly recurring theme in his art and most impressively rendered in the Sunflowers (1911). Shining, vigorous blossoms juxtaposed with dark, withered leaves symbolize the cycle of life.
In 1912, Schiele moved to Neulengbach, where a most productive period began, which, however, was brought to an abrupt end by the so-called Neulengbach Affair: Schiele was accused of the dissemination of immoral drawings and sexual abuse of a minor. After numerous exhibitions and travels, 1914 brought the next turning point in Schiele’s life. He separated from his long-time companion Wally Neuzil in order to marry Edith Harms. The painting Death and the Maiden from 1915, definitely a self-portrait of the artist, might be considered an artistic digestion of his new life situation. The painting is reminiscent of Klimt’s famous Kiss (1907/8), with Schiele translating the motif into the formal vocabulary of early Expressionism, manifesting itself in dissonant tones and angular contours.

Max Pechstein, Still Life with Apples and Porcelain Jug, 1912
Oil on canvas 88,5 x 89 cm
Anton Kolig, The Artist’s Wife with Flowers, 1913
Oil on canvas 71,5 x 61 cm
Lovis Corinth, Still Life with Chrysanthemums and Amaryllis,1922
Oil on canvas 121 x 96 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Anton Hanak, Ecce Homo (Der letzte Mensch), 1917-1924
Bronze Height: 230 cm
Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Büste der "Knieenden", 1911
English Cement Height 48 cm
Herbert Boeckl, Rear Tenements in Berlin, 1922
Oil on canvas 41,5 x 61 cm
Richard Gerstl, The Sisters Karoline and Pauline Fey, 1905
Oil on canvas 175 x 150 cm
Anton Faistauer, Still Life with Fruit on Green Cloth, 1911
Oil on canvas 70,4 x 85,5 cm
Helene Funke, Still Life with Peaches, 1918
Oil on canvas 52 x 69,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, The Mountains of Klosters, um 1923
Oil on canvas 120,5 x 120,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Edvard Munch, Men on the Seashore, 1908
Oil on Canvas 100 x 120 cm

The art of Richard Gerstl marks the beginning of the Expressionist movement in Austria. Excessive emotionality is not only conveyed through colour and brushwork, but also through a psychological approach to subject matter. In its dual relationship between observation and expression, his oeuvre is related to that of Edvard Munch.
Analytical observation and self-inspection also characterize the paintings by Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, and Max Oppenheimer. In their self-portraits, they frequently present themselves as sufferers, thereby documenting their special interest in psychological conditions. Whereas the Expressionism of the Brücke artists is dominated by an emotionalization of colour and of the application of paint, it is the precise observation of psychological conditions that determines the degree of expressivity in the art of Austrian painters. By holding on to linearity and rigid outlines, they also continued employing elements of Secessionist art.
Anton Hanak is undoubtedly one of the most important sculptors of the twentieth century in Austria. His work, influenced by Wilhelm Lehmbruck, ranges from small figural sketches to huge figures for façades and monuments. In Hanak’s sculptures, which bear such titles as The Last Man, symbolical references to Secessionist art remain recognizable. However, both the high degree of psychologization and the gestural pathos and elongation of the body are already suggestive of the new, expressive approach to art.
Besides examples of Austrian Expressionist painting, the Belvedere also holds outstanding masterpieces of German Expressionism, including works by the members of the Brücke group, such as Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Pechstein, and Emil Nolde, as well as portraits by Alexej Jawlensky. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, one of the chief exponents of German Expressionism and a leading personality within the Brücke group, which he co-founded in 1905, is represented in the collection with the work The Klosters Mountains (1923). As a further important representative of the Expressionist movement, Max Pechstein joined the group, which had been established by Kirchner, Erich Heckel, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, in 1906. Outstanding permanent loans from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection complement and expand the Belvedere’s holdings of Expressionist art. And thanks to the loans from the Ars Bohemiae Foundation – The Rotter Collection, Czech art from the first half of the twentieth century is also impressively displayed and conveyed.
In 1912, Pechstein painted his Still Life with Apples and Bananas. Similar to Pechstein, Emil Nolde also employed flatly applied paint as a means of expression. Following Nolde’s brief affiliation with the Brücke, he created his first religious paintings, including Joseph Relating His Dreams (1910). The Russian-born painter Alexej Jawlensky, who lived in Munich, was in close contact with the Blauer Reiter group, due to his personal relationship with Wassily Kandinsky. He drew the inspirations for his powerful colour combinations from Russian folk art and such French Fauvists as Henri Matisse, as is betrayed by Jawlensky’s Portrait of a Lady (1908). The delicately built bust of a Kneeling Figure (1913) by the sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck shows a high degree of expressive internalization and illustrates the artist’s affinity for Expressionism.

Between the Wars
Rudolf Wacker, Two Heads, 1932
Oil on plywood 100 x 63 cm
Wilhelm Thöny, Ansicht von Manhatten (East River), 1935-38
Oil on carton 40,5 x 46 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Wolfgang Paalen, Surrealistische Komposition, um 1931
Oil on canvas 33 x 41 cm
Fritz Wotruba, Torso, 1928 - 1929
Bronze 140 x 44 x 42 cm
Georg Eisler, Selbstporträt mit Staffelei und Katze, 1944
Oil on canvas 60,5 x 50,5 cm
Franz Lerch, Offenes Fenster, 1928
Oil on canvas 87 x 64,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Georg Merkel, Selbstbildnis, 1923 (später überarbeitet)
Oil on canvas 71,5 x 59 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Erika Giovanna Klien, Diving Bird, 1939
Oil on canvas 111 x 96 cm
Oskar Kokoschka, Der Prager Hafen, 1936
Oil on canvas 91 x 117 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Hans Boehler, Jack Carter's Bar in Harlem, 1942
Oil on canvas 83 x 130,5 cm
Max Beckmann, Frau mit Buch und Schwertlilien, 1931
Oil on canvas 72,5 x 116 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Philharmoniker, 1926-52
Oil and tempera on canvas, wound up on wood 302 x 465 cm Boards: 302 x 155 x 6 cm Artothek des Bundes, on permanent loan at Belvedere, Vienna from Maximilian Oppenheimer
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Emil Filla, Still Life with Pipe, 1914
Oil on canvas Frame: 47 × 42 × 7 cm
Franz Sedlacek, Storm, 1932
Oil on plywood 103 x 95 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Cermínová Toyen, Solitary House, 1945
Oil on canvas Frame: 87 × 73 × 3 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Jindrich Styrsky, Maldoror, 1941
Oil on canvas Frame: 57,5 × 67,5 × 4 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Anton Kolig, Kneeling Narcissus, 1920
Oil on canvas 93 x 65,5 cm
Joseph Floch, Mrs Weiss and her Daughters Liese and Lene, c. 1923
Oil on canvas 122,4 x 98 cm
Fritz Schwarz-Waldegg, Denomination, 1920
Oil on canvas 117,5 x 88 cm
Fernand Léger, Village Landscape, 1912/13
Oil on canvas 91 x 81 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
Marie Vassilieff, Woman with a Fan, 1910
Oil on canvas 59,5 × 72,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere
František Kupka, Serie C VIII, 1935-1946
Oil on canvas 97 × 105 cm
Lilly Steiner, Selbstbildnis, 1937
Oil on canvas 130 x 97,5 cm
Location: Oberes Belvedere

Across the whole of Europe and especially in Germany, this period saw a return to a realistic representation of things as a counter movement to the abstract trends of the 1910s. In Austria the greatest exponents of this style known as Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) included Rudolf Wacker, Herbert Ploberger, Marie-Louise Motesiczky, and Franz Sedlacek.
The majority of Austrian artists tended to paint in a lyrical, predominantly naturalistic style, focusing on traditional subjects in painting such as landscape, portrait, and still life. A center of this representational style was established by a group of artists in Carinthia known as the Nötsch Circle.
Even in the first three decades of the twentieth century, many Austrian artists had emigrated to other countries, for example the USA or France, in anticipation of better working conditions and career prospects. As of 1938, however, the growing powers of the dictatorial Nazi regime forced many artists to flee into exile, among them Max Oppenheimer, Joseph Floch, Franz Lerch, Wolfgang Paalen, Hans Boehler, Fritz Wotruba, and Georg Ehrlich. Others, who could not escape, were persecuted and murdered after having been banned from painting and practicing their profession. Émigré artists encountered fresh inspiration and new networks thus arose.
The Belvedere’s collection includes Village Landscape (1912–13) by Fernand Léger, one of the few examples from the early period of French Cubism. Alfred Wickenburg, from Graz, had studied with Jean-Paul Laurens at the Académie Julian in Paris from 1906 to 1909 and his work Rinaldo and Armida (1923) is one of the most significant examples of Cubist figure painting in Austria at this time.
Czech artists had already adopted the formal language of Cubism in their compositions prior to 1914. Outstanding representatives of this style include Emil Filla and Antonin Procházka. Works by both of these artists, in addition to numerous other Czech masterpieces, were given to the museum on permanent loan from the Rotter Collection in 2012 and they shed new light on the relationship between Czech artists and their Viennese colleagues. Masterpieces from the Thyssen Collection, also on permanent loan to the Belvedere, round off this representation of links to abstraction in Vienna. Viennese Kineticism, Czech Cubism, and Russian Constructivism are thus presented together for the first time.
From the mid-1920s, Neue Sachlichkeit was one of the few reference points within an art scene made up of somewhat disparate styles. The leading master of this style in Austria was Rudolf Wacker from Vorarlberg. His painting Two Heads (1932) has a matter-of-fact precision that hints at something demonic and menacing, so typical of many works in this style. Similarly, the art of Franz Sedlacek has a fantastical narrative style that often appears bizarre. Comparing these with works by the Czech Surrealists has also presented new perspectives in the appraisal of their mutual influences.
Franz Wiegele, Anton Kolig, Sebastian Isepp, and Anton Mahringer all belonged to the artist group known as the Nötsch Circle in Carinthia, who concentrated mainly on the genres of figure and landscape painting. However, many Austrian painters working between the two world wars cannot be categorized as belonging to one particular style as they found their own individual mode of expression.

Kunst im Exil

The work of Wilhelm Thöny from Graz is a case in point. He worked in an extraordinary, non-academic style, rendering his images with a pared down fragility and often a touch of irony. Oskar Laske adopted a narrative, anecdotal style, sometimes – as in his painting Ship of Fools (1923) – resembling caricature. Other artists, such as Josef Dobrowsky in Vienna or Jean Egger from Carinthia, placed an emphasis on gestural brushwork. Egger’s work in particular pushed the boundaries of representational art.
In addition, the Belvedere houses important examples of post-1918 German painting. Among these highlights are a series of late works by Lovis Corinth. These include The Herzogstand at Walchensee in the Snow (1922), a striking reflection of how the artist’s works were dissolving into a painterly and gestural style. The picture Reclining Woman with Book and Irises (1931) is a masterpiece by Max Beckmann that achieves a balance between expressive line, symbolic content, and harmonious colors.
Fritz Wotruba was, besides Anton Hanak, Austria’s greatest sculptor of the twentieth century. Wotruba’s late work reveals elements of Cubism and a strong tendency toward abstract block-like forms. Yet the human figure always remained at the heart of his art, as his stone sculpture Large Seated Figure (Cathedral) (1945) reveals.


Art after 1945
Friedensreich Hundertwasser, The Big Way, 1955
Artificial resin on canvas 158 x 158 cm
Joannis Avramidis, Standing Figure, c. 1960
Bronze Height 101 cm
Location: 21er Haus
Max Weiler, Kinderspiele (Welt des Kindes), 1953
Eggtempera on canvas 76 x 74,5 cm
Ernst Fuchs, Moses in Front of the Burning Bush, 1956/57
Oiltempera on wood 18,5 x 23,2 cm
Josef Mikl, Komposition, 1954
Oil on beaverboard 85 x 55 cm
Arnulf Rainer, Ostermorgen, 1953/54
Oil on canvas 32 x 47 cm
Carl Unger, Harbor of Sanary, 1957
Oil on canvas 91 x 100 cm
Curt Stenvert, Idol of Prosperity, 1965
Oil on wood, Metal, Peas 63 x 251 x 14 cm Donation Gallery Lang Vienna
Marc Adrian, Ambiguous Perspective (2nd version), 1964
Oil on canvas 80 x 90 cm
Bruno Gironcoli, Maternal, Paternal, ab 1968
Polyester, wood 350 x 300 cm
Hans Staudacher, 3 x, 1958/59
Dispersion, Collage on beaverboard 170 x130 cm
Alfred Hrdlicka, Torso of a Standing Youth, 1957
Bronce 183 cm
An expressive style of colour painting dominated the scene in Austria also after 1945, as is seen for instance in the late work of Herbert Boeckl. The Viennese School of Fantastic Realism, a variant of surrealist painting, was given its characteristic form by Albert Paris Gütersloh, the co-founder of the Art Club. Leading representatives of this movement are Ernst Fuchs and Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
The Galerie St. Stephan in Vienna became a centre for abstract, informal art, promoting artists like Arnulf Rainer and Markus Prachensky.
The majority of painters after 1945 pursued a more or less moderate modernity, marked by objective representation and a gesticulatory, dramatic use of colour. An example of this can be seen in the late work of Herbert Boeckl. Flying Woodpecker (1950) has the motif fragmented into a cluster of autonomous spots of colour. The mature and late work of Max Weiler, too, is marked by dramatic gesticulations of colour; the image of nature remains virulent, as in Night (1961). A painter who goes her own way in figural reduction is Maria Lassnig, who in her early work creates figural compositions split into cubist, disassembled planes of colour.
Probably more than any other movement in Austrian art, the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism has achieved great fame also beyond the national boundaries. It can be seen as a late variant of surrealism. Its mentor was Albert Paris Gütersloh, professor at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. The Belvedere owns important early works by Arik Brauer, Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter, Anton Lehmden and Ernst Fuchs. Moses and the Burning Bush (1956/57) by Ernst Fuchs shifts the biblical motif into a visionary configuration captured in a miniature painting technique worthy of the Old Masters. The pictures of Friedensreich Hundertwasser on the other hand tended early on towards an exceptionally decorative idiom. The Art Club took on the role of a central forum during the post-war years; likewise co-founded by Gütersloh in 1947, in the coming years it was a watershed for modern trends in Austria.
Besides the surrealists, "abstract artists" were an influential group within the Austrian avant-garde. Abstract expressionism and art informel were pivotal in the art of Western Europe and the USA. The Galerie St. Stephan gained in importance since the early 1950s in Vienna, a centre for art informel, including painters such as Josef Mikl, Wolfgang Hollegha, Arnulf Rainer and Markus Prachensky. Hollegha’s Colour Experiments (Composition 55) of 1955 surprises in its casual arrangement of soft colour planes, which combine in a harmonious polychrome ensemble.
Contemporary Art
Birgit Jürgenssen, Each One Has Her/His Own Sight, Feminist Art, 1975/2006
B/W Photography 40 x 30 cm
Oswald Oberhuber, Frog, Contemporary Art, 2010
Mixed media on cardboard 27,4 × 29,4 cm
Maja Vukoje, Patata, Contemporary Art, 2013
Acrylic, Mini CD on jute 210 × 180,5 × 5 cm
Heimo Zobernig, Untitled, Contemporary Art 1985
Paint spay on cardboard 35,7 x 26,4 cm
Hans Schabus, Mare Adriatico Venezia 13 Maggio 2005, Contemporary Art, 2005
C-Print 125 x 147 cm
Künstlergruppe gelatin, Untitled, Contemporary Art, 2003
Plasticine, threads, photographs, wood 180 x 180 x 30 cm, ca. 30 kg
Franz Graf, MKCC, Contemporary Art, 2013
India ink, permanent marker and graphite on canvas 160 × 110 cm
Erwin Wurm, Woman With Oranges, Contemporary Art, 2000
C-Print 184,5 × 125,5 cm
Dorit Margreiter, 10104 Angelo View Drive, Contemporary Art, 2004
Photography 80 x 120 cm
Bruno Gironcoli, Untitled, Contemporary Art, around 1968
Mixed media (tempera, metallic paint) on paper 153 x 200,5 cm
Rudolf Polanszky, Seating Image With Photographic Illustrations, Contemporary Art, 1980-1982
2 sheets with color on handmade paper, 3 photographs 159 × 108 cm

The collection has been structured into sections based on chronological criteria. The collection of contemporary art ranges from the 1960s to the present and includes works of Austrian informal art, Viennese action painting and key examples of media art from the seventies. The younger generation of Austrian artists is represented in the collection through works by Heimo Zobernig, Gelatin (gelitin), Markus Schinwald, and more.
By the mid-1960s, a process of differentiation within art production and its traditional genres was underway. Roland Goeschl and Bruno Gironcoli no longer resorted to bronze and stone as material, but to plastic, and to the designation "object" rather than sculpture.
The picture cast off the frame. Artists like Hans Staudacher took a spontaneous and random approach within the art informel painting movement.
In action painting, the body itself became the vehicle and Günter Brus and Rudolf Schwarzkogler projected the wounds of the canvas onto themselves. Their actions were conceived for the instant and archived in documentary media. By addressing their own bodies as projection planes, VALIE EXPORT and Mari Lassnig put a social-critical focus on systems manipulated by patriarchal viewpoints and judgements.
While Austrian art in the seventies produced major achievements in media art, the subsequent decade saw a revival of the panel picture. Alois Mosbacher and Hubert Schmalix created rapidly washed, expressive motifs.
The early nineties saw more precise issues being addressed, the discourse revolved in part around institutional prerequisites. For Heimo Zobernig and Marcus Geiger, the framework of the presentation, exhibition properties and inventory, partitions, etc., became the starting point of their artistic explorations. However, Franz West, though similar in the way he handles the material, is more influenced by the non-aesthetics of action painting.
The latest generation is especially well represented in the collection, collecting activities were intensified in the mid-nineties and afterwards, to name just a few, Hans Schabus, Gelatin (gelitin) and Markus Schinwald.