Kunsthistorisches Museum

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Kunsthistorisches Museum
Maria-Theresien-Platz Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien 2010.jpg
Kunsthistorisches Museum is located in Vienna
Kunsthistorisches Museum
Location within Vienna
Established1871–1891
LocationMaria Theresien Platz Vienna, Austria
TypeArt Museum
Visitors1,745,070 (2019)[1]
DirectorSabine Haag (since 2009)
ArchitectKarl Hasenauer, Gottfried Semper
Websitewww.khm.at
Rotunda
Tower of Babel by Pieter Brueghel
Summer, by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1563
Sculptures at staircase

The Kunsthistorisches Museum (lit. "Museum of Art History", also often referred to as the "Museum of Fine Arts") is an art museum in Vienna, Austria. Housed in its festive palatial building on Ringstraße, it is crowned with an octagonal dome. The term Kunsthistorisches Museum applies to both the institution and the main building. It is the largest art museum in the country and one of the most important museums worldwide.

Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary opened the facility around 1891 at the same time as the Natural History Museum, Vienna which has a similar design and is directly across Maria-Theresien-Platz.[2] The two buildings were constructed between 1871 and 1891 according to plans by Gottfried Semper and Baron Karl von Hasenauer. The emperor commissioned the two Ringstraße museums to create a suitable home for the Habsburgs' formidable art collection and to make it accessible to the general public. The buildings are rectangular in shape, with symmetrical Renaissance Revival façades of sandstone lined with large arched windows on the main levels and topped with an octagonal dome 60 metres (200 ft) high. The interiors of the museums are lavishly decorated with marble, stucco ornamentation, gold-leaf and murals. The grand stairway features paintings by Gustav Klimt, Ernst Klimt, Franz Matsch, Hans Makart and Mihály Munkácsy.[3]

Collection[edit]

Picture gallery[edit]

The museum's primary collections are those of the Habsburgs, particularly from the portrait and armour collections of Ferdinand of Tirol, the collections of Emperor Rudolph II (the largest part of which is, however, scattered), and the collection of paintings of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, of which his Italian paintings were first documented in the Theatrum Pictorium.

Notable works in the picture gallery include:

The collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum:

  • Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection
  • Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities
  • Collection of Sculpture and Decorative Arts
  • Coin Cabinet
  • Library

Hofburg[edit]

  • Ephesus Museum
  • Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments
  • Collection of Arms and Armour
  • Archive
  • Secular and Ecclesiastical Treasury (in the Schweizerhof)

Others[edit]

Also affiliated are the:

Recent events[edit]

One of the museum's most important objects, the Cellini Salt Cellar sculpture by Benvenuto Cellini, was stolen on 11 May 2003 and recovered on 21 January 2006, in a box buried in a forest near the town of Zwettl. It was featured in an episode of Museum Secrets on the History Channel. It had been the greatest art theft in Austrian history.[4]

The museum is the subject of Johannes Holzhausen's documentary film The Great Museum (2014), filmed over two years in the run up to the re-opening of the newly renovated and expanded Kunstkammer rooms in 2013.

From October 2018 through January 2019 the museum hosted the world's largest-ever exhibition of works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder called Bruegel – Once in a Lifetime.[5]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bundesmuseen: Die meisten Besucher in KHM, Belvedere und Albertina" [Federal museums: Most visitors go to the KHM, Belvedere and Albertina]. Der Standard (in German). Vienna. Austria Press Agency. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  2. ^ The Office Of The High Chamberlain (31 December 1906). Guide to the Treasury of the Imperial House of Austria. Vienna: A. Holzhausen. p. 12.
  3. ^ Czerny, Ernst (2012). "Gustav Klimt and Egyptian Art. Paintings in the staircase of the Kunsthistorisches Museum" (PDF). Egypt and Austria VII. Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. ISBN 978-8073312473.
  4. ^ "Police find stolen £36m figurine". BBC News. 22 January 2006. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  5. ^ "The Best of Bruegel – Only in Vienna". Kunsthistorisches Museum. Retrieved 31 October 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kunsthistorisches Museum at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 48°12′13″N 16°21′42″E / 48.2037°N 16.3618°E / 48.2037; 16.3618