We were planning to go to Leopold and Momok (Modern Art Museum) but it’s Tuesday and they’re closed of course. Some rapid replanning and we off to the Kunthistorishes Museum (which means Art Historical) which contains the major Austrian collections, most of them acquired or commissioned by the Hapsburgs or their noble followers.
The Kunthistorishes museum
The foyer (with cafe) is incredibly ornate
The collection is huge and we can only see a small sample before exhaustion will set in. Concentrating on European painting there is a grand collection of Reubens, Holbein, Cranach, and two fabulous Rembrant self portraits, approximately ten years apart and a poignant portrait of his son, Titus, reading. Titus died only one year before his father. There are Carravaggio, Tiepolo, Velasquez, and of course, the jewel in the crown the Breugals. Vienna houses about one third of his extant paintings, including five of the six surviving “seasons”. As his anatomy is sometimes dubious, the fame of Breugal probably rests on his acute observation of daily peasant life in exquisite detail. My favourite:
The Tower of Babel
One of the great traditions of European art education is students copying the masters in museums. I have read about it but never experienced it, – until today!
this young lady is making an excellent job of copying Breugal’s “Hunter returning in Snow”, the very first winter landscape painting.
After about four hours we stagger out, have our sandwiches in the park and think about the rest of the day. It’s too late for another major museum, but it’s just right for Viennese coffee and cake.
And after that a tram to the rather elusive Hundertwasser village. It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that local people have no idea where their famous attractions are located. However, there is always an exception to the rule, so we arrive at last.
The actual museum, is closing so it’s back on the tram and home.