The Belvedere’s collection comprises several thousands of works from nine centuries. The museum’s permanent collection throws a fresh and exciting light on artworks by artists like Rueland Frueauf the Elder, Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Gustav Klimt, Erika Giovanna Klien, Egon Schiele, Helene Funke, and Oskar Kokoschka.
The Belvedere’s extensive collection covers art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the world’s largest collections of paintings by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller and Gustav Klimt and the Character Heads by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. The Upper Belvedere’s display concept offers fresh approaches to these masterpieces of art.
The concept includes innovative thematic rooms, interspersing the chronological hanging through the periods of art and sparking a multi-layered dialogue between the classics of art history and contemporary artists, for example Erwin Wurm and Christian Philipp Müller. The rooms revolve around questions concerning Austrian history, its identity, and its art. In this exciting interaction between past and present, old favourites can be rediscovered in a new context.
The tempestuous history of the Belvedere has been allotted its own section in the exhibition covering Prince Eugene’s building of the palaces, the foundation of the museum, the signing of the Austrian State Treaty, and its role today as a modern museum.
Accompanying the redisplay of the collection, contemporary art will be introduced to the Baroque Carlone Hall in six-monthly shows. These will engage with the mythological pictorial programme and build a bridge between the art of the old masters and the present. The museum thus questions itself and is repositioned as a place of inspiration, reflection, and experience.