The Habsburgs were, generally speaking, lovers of art and many of the works of the Kunsthistorisches Museum come from their collections.
While the grandiose interior alone may be reason enough to visit, the collections here are outstanding. The Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection, Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities and Coin Library are just a few of the collections to get lost inside. The Picture Gallery includes works by Albrecht Dürer, Jan van Eyck, Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens.
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A Treasure Trove of Art in Vienna
“I came to the Kunsthistorisches in my teens, but it wasn’t until five years ago that I rediscovered the museum. Generally, I’m more of a modern art guy, but the KM has increased my appreciation for historical works by artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder.” - Hatmaker Klaus Mühlbauer on Leopoldstadt, Vienna. Read more about his local's take on Vienna here.
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This appeared in the October 2014 issue.
I saved the best for last. On my final day in Vienna, I at last made my way to the Kunsthistorisches Museum. My favorite artist is Caravaggio, and here is housed a fine selection of his work, as well as an extensive collection of caravaggesque paintings by his followers and contemporaries. As I wandered the seemingly endless number of rooms, I was enthralled by all the incredible masterpieces that surrounded me. Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Ruben, I was fully immersed in a collection of the greatest humans to ever wield a brush. As I paused for a moment, I looked down into a cafe housed within the museum, and snapped a photo to capture the scene. Suddenly it hit me, here I was, surrounded by great art, and literally right under my nose was some of the most unlikely art of all: all of us individually enjoying not only what was on the walls, but also the environment and the moment together. www.khm.at/en/collections/picture-gallery
Everything about the Museum of Fine Arts is impressive. The building itself, which is comparatively young for Vienna, the mere number of artifacts on exhibit here, and the 4 millennia across which the museum’s collection spans are all combined to form what can only be called a masterpiece. It was built by an emperor, and the ornate façade, broad stairs and impeccable gardens won’t let you forget it. The Kunsthistorische Museum will take you on a path of discovery, leading you past Rubens, Vermeer, Dürer and Titian and never quite set you back down. You could spend days wandering the halls of this giant, but even if you only have an hour to spare, the KHM is worth it.
If you are looking to discover Vienna's art scene, you absolutely cannot miss the museum of fine arts, the Kunsthistorische Museum. Its permanent collection spans over five millennia, giving you the chance to watch artistic achievments from all around the world develop and change over time - right before your eyes. Take as much time as you need; there is a delicious surprise waiting for you! The museum has a beautiful Viennese style cafe, which is itself a sight to see. You can sit back for a well-deserved coffee break and enjoy a piece of Sachertorte in this lavish location. No matter which kind of Bellini you're looking for, this is the museum for you.
The Art History museum is a great place to spend a cold or wet afternoon. You can't help but be cheered up by the beautiful art that adorns these walls. And when you've had your fill of culture, take the time to visit the cafe for cakes and coffee.