Kunsthistorisches Museum - KHM, Vienna

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Maria Theresienplatz

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    KHM - INTRODUCTION.

    by breughel Updated Jan 21, 2014

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    KHM -Neue Burg - Suits of armour.
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    Actually the KHM Vienna groups 8 museums in Vienna (6) and outside (2):

    1° KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM, the most important located at A-1010 Wien, Maria Theresien-Platz in the magnificent building from the end of the 19th c. (photo 1). See my review : KHM Architecture
    This museum has FIVE departments:
    - Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection .
    - Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities (renovated museography) on the ground floor called "Hochparterre". See my review Greek-Roman Antiquities.
    - The Gemäldegalerie - Picture Gallery on the first floor gets visitors from all over the world who come to see the most famous Bruegel the Elder collection. See my reviews : Paintings, Gemäldegalerie, P. Bruegel collection, Best of P. Bruegel, Bruegel Children's Games .
    - The Coin Cabinet on the second floor .
    - The Kunstkammer - Collection of Sculpture and Decorative Arts (ground floor) is presently closed. (See my tip from 2007 Kunstkammer) .

    2° NEUE BURG at A-1010 Vienna, Heldenplatz, the second important KHM museum is a monumental wing of the Vienna Hofburg (photo 2) .
    The Neue Burg museum has THREE departments :
    - Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer presents magnificent suits of armour and ceremonial arms, one of the best and largest collections in the world. See my review Suits of armour.
    - Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments .
    - Ephesus Museum .

    3° The Museum of Ethnology - Museum für Völkerkunde .
    A-1010 Vienna, Neue Burg .

    4° Austrian Theatre Museum .
    Lobkowitzplatz 2, A-1010 Wien .

    5° Museum of Carriages and Department of Court Uniforms .
    A-1130 Vienna Schloß Schönbrunn .

    6° Treasury .
    Schweizerhof, A-1010 Vienna, Hofburg .

    7° The Theseus Temple in Vienna's Volksgarten. See my review Theseus temple

    8° Ambras Castle .
    A-6020 Innsbruck, Schloss Straße 20 .

    The KHM museums counted 1.3 million visitors in 2007. It is for Austria what Le Louvre is for France.
    I would suggest to amateurs of art who are in Vienna only for a short stay not to miss the Kunsthistorisches Museum at the Maria Theresien-Platz. It is much better than the Hofburg; between Sissi and the Gemäldegalerie there is no hesitation possible.

    Now a few practical informations about the two principal museums:

    The KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM, with the paintings gallery (Maria Theresien-Platz) is open from 10 - 18 h from Tuesday till Sunday (Thursday till 21 h). Closed on Monday.
    Open each day from June to August.

    There are files. Actually there are two ticket offices (19th c. style) but it happens that visitors are queuing only at the one on the right, so check by pushing the left "Eintritt" door if that ticket office is open.
    The décor of the cafeteria under the cupola is amazing; this is the most beautiful museum cafeteria in Europe ! See : Cafetaria
    Price (2014): full 14€, with the "Wien-Karte" 13€, reduced11€ (for 27 yr & >65 yr). Cloak room is included. Audioguide 4€. The ticket is valid for the KHM collections at the Neue Burg.
    Free 19 yr.

    NEUE BURG, Heldenplatz, with the suits of armour and arms collection, is open from Wednesday till Sunday from 10 to 18 h. (Closed Monday and Tuesday). No lines .
    Price (2014): full 14€, with the "Wien-Karte" 13€, reduced 11€ (for 27 yr & >65). Free 19 yr. Cloak room included. Audioguide 4€.

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    Kunsthistoriches Museum

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Dec 8, 2013

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    Kunsthistoriches Museum
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    The museum of fine arts is the best of a city of really good museums. It includes many works of the masters collected by the Hapsburg Emperor over time, a collection of antquities and many historical views of Vienna

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    Paintings - What to see if you are short on time.

    by breughel Updated Nov 2, 2013

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    P.BRUEGEL
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    The collection of paintings of the KHM "Gemäldegalerie" with works from the 15th c. till the 18th c., on the first floor, is divided by the monumental staircase in two wings:

    The Italian, Spanish and French paintings in Rooms I till VII and 1 till 13.
    Here you will find mainly Venetian paintings (Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, Canaletto), Raphael, Caravaggio and Italian Baroque painters, plus a number of Velasquez pictures.

    The Flemish, Dutch and German schools are in Rooms IX till XV and 14 till 24.
    Here are on display masterworks from the "Flemish Primitives" school (Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling, Gerard David), the 17th-century Flemish painters (Peter Paul Rubens , Antoon Van Dyck) a good collection of Dutch 17th c. paintings with a Vermeer the "Allegory of Painting" (photo 4), fine marine paintings like the "Statenjacht op de IJ" from L. Backhuizen, and German Renaissance paintings (Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach).

    But, of course, it is the worldwide unique collection of 14 paintings of P. BRUEGEL the ELDER, i.e. the third of his paintings known about the world that moves visitors from all over the world to Room X of the KHM.
    Among these fourteen some of the most remarkable as "The Peasant Wedding" (photo 1), "The Peasants Dance", "The Tower of Babel" (photo 2), "The Fight of Carnival and Lent", and especially the most beautiful, the purest, the most intense of the works of P. Bruegel "Hunters in the Snow"(photo 3).

    Visiting the whole Paintings gallery needs 3 - 4 hours.
    The larger rooms are comfortable with sofas so that you can sit in front of your preferred works to admire them at length (photo 5). Fortunately even in the Bruegel room the visitors are not bumping into each other.

    If you are short in time I would suggest to start with the Flemish and Dutch part in Rooms IX, 14 and following, as this is the best part of the museum, at least in my opinion.

    Open: Tuesday - Sunday 10 - 18 h (Thursday 10 - 21 h).
    Closed: Monday.
    Price (2013): 14 €, Vienna card 13 €, 27 yr & > 65 yr 11 €.
    Free 19 yr.
    The ticket is also valid for the KHM collections at the Neue Burg.

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    KHM architecture and cafeteria.

    by breughel Updated Nov 2, 2013

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    Cafeteria at the KHM.
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    On my first visit to the KHM around 1968 I didn't mind about the architecture.
    I was on a business trip and had only 15 minutes between two appointments to run to room X to see the Bruegels.

    Since then (4 more visits) I take all my time to admire entrance hall, staircase and cupola hall.
    Ascending the stairs, visitors pass Antonio Canova’s most pictured "Theseus Slaying the Centaur" on their way to the cupola hall among a wealth of neo-baroque decorations.

    You know that I love Le Louvre, Paris but the Pyramid is peanuts compared to the imperial display of this central part of the KHM, Vienna.
    No other European museum can rival with the entrance of the KHM and none museum - in the world? - has a cafeteria in such a magnificent décor.
    My wife and I felt less enthusiast about the food. The sandwiches were good but minuscule, the pastries "strudel" could have been better but the service was very kind (maybe because we tried to speak German).
    But these remarks lost any significance when looking around us (ref. my photos). As we stayed the whole day at the KHM we had a sandwich at 12 h (before the affluence, the cafeteria has not so many tables) and pastry and coffee around 15 h.

    It was my intention to write here some info about the architecture of the KHM but you can find all that on the website of the KHM. No need to be redundant.

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    Greek and Roman Antiquities.

    by breughel Updated Nov 2, 2013

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    Gemma Augustea, KHM.
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    The collection of Greek and Roman antiquities at the ground floor (Hochparterre) of the KHM main building, Maria Theresian Platz, was started by the Habsburgs in the 16th c.
    The unique and spectacular antique cameos, including the famous Gemma Augustea, (photo 1) highlights of this KHM department, date from Rudolf II (ruled from 1576 till 1612).
    Over the centuries the collection expanded and was moved in 1891 from the Augustinian Corridor in the Hofburg Place and from the Lower Belvedere Palace into the newly opened Kunsthistorisches Museum.
    After renovation work the collection is presented since 2005 in a new light but also in a space expanded to nine halls and seven cabinets. The number of the items on display amount to 2500 objects.
    Remarkable are the light effects as you can see from my photos. Purists might say that there are too much light effects but I like the way this department played with lights. Display of antique statue heads can be dull and this is certainly not what I would say from this part of the KHM.

    It was a very pleasant visit not forgetting the amazing décor of the cafeteria under the monumental cupola.

    It is also possible to visit with the same ticket the Ephesus museum at the Neue Burg.
    We did not use that possibility because visiting the Paintings gallery plus the Greek, Roman and Egyptian departments of the KHM main building took us the whole day.

    Open from 10 - 18 h from Tuesday till Sunday (Thursday till 21 h). Closed on Monday.
    There are files. Actually there are two ticket offices (19th c. style) but it happens that visitors are queuing only at the one on the right, so check by pushing the left "Eintritt" door if that ticket office is open.
    Price (2013): full 14€, with the "Wien-Karte" 13€, reduced 11€ (for seniors>65 yr). Audioguide and cloak room are included.

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    Ringstrasse tour - Art History Museum

    by croisbeauty Updated Oct 26, 2013

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    Kunsthistorischesmuseum
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    Kunsthistoriches Museum (KHM) building, The Museum of the Fine Art, was completed in 1891. On first sight this building is near identical to the building which stands opposite of it, except for the statuary on the facade. The building is rectangular in shape and topped with a dome that is 60 meters high. The building was commissioned by the Emperor in order to preserve a formidable art collection of the Habsburgs and to make it accessible to the general public.
    The KHM facade was built of sandstone and features statues depicting famous European artists. The interior is lavishly decorated with marble, stucco ornamentations, gold leaf and paintings. Notable works in the picture gallery include: Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Veronese, Giorgione, Rubens, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Mantegna, Brueghel and many others.
    The admission is 12 euros.

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    Gemäldegalerie-Paintings - P. BRUEGEL collection.

    by breughel Updated Sep 25, 2013

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    KHMuseum - P. Bruegel
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    For all amateurs of Pieter Bruegel the Elder the room X of the Paint gallery at the KHM, located in one of the imperial palaces near the Hofburg, is an absolute must. The museum has 14 paintings of P. Bruegel the Elder, i.e. the third of his paintings known about the world!

    Among these fourteen some of the most remarkable as The Tower of Babel, The Fight of Carnival and Lent, the Peasants Dance, The Peasant Wedding and especially the most beautiful, the purest, the most intense of the works of P. Bruegel " Hunters in the Snow" To go to Vienna without having seen Bruegel it is as going to Paris without seeing La Joconde in Le Louvre. But contrary to the room of the Louvre with Mona Lisa, visitors are not bumping into each other in room X of the KHM of Vienna.

    A relation having visited the KHM asked me (it was the time of the action in justice against the Austrian State about the Klimt's) if Belgium, which has only six P. Bruegel the Elder, did not wish the return of the Bruegel's to Brussels where the painter lived and died (1569). I would certainly like to see more Bruegel's in the Museum of the Fine Arts in Brussels but these paintings were offered by the city of Antwerp to the archduke Ernest in 1594, the others were bought in total legality. Furthermore if Belgium began demanding the return of all the works of the Flemish painters worldwide she would not have enough walls to hang them on and numerous museums in the world would have empty rooms. And last but not least, numerous persons worldwide know Belgium only by her painters. Let the Bruegel's stays in Vienna, it is a pleasure to see them in a beautiful surrounding such as the KHM and the town of Vienna.

    Open: Tuesday - Sunday 10 - 18 h (Thursday 10 - 21 h).
    Closed: Monday.
    Price (2013): full 14€, with the "Wien-Karte" 13€, reduced 11€ (for 27 yr & >65). Free 19 yr. Audioguide and cloak room are included.
    The ticket is also valid for the KHM collections at the Neue Burg.

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    P. Bruegel "Children's games".

    by breughel Updated Sep 25, 2013

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    P.Bruegel
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    When facing a painting of P. Bruegel the Elder one first looks at all the picture and then starts looking at the details. That takes time. I have seen an amateur of Bruegel standing a quarter of an hour in front of the "Hunters in the snow" (My wife and I use to sit for long periods on the sofa facing this marvelous painting).

    Now if you are standing in front of an "encyclopedia" picture like "Children's games" with 230 children playing 83 different games you need even more time to decipher at least some of them! We did and what was funny is that we found some games we had been playing in Brussels on the street when we were kids. Amazing to find out that games from 1560 were still played by us around 1950.
    We even remembered the names in Brussels dialect: "broek over drij" (broek over drie in Dutch - playing leapfrog - photo 1), "Hoamer, scheir of mes" (Hamer, schaar of mes in Dutch - photo 2 - "Rock Paper Scissors" translation thanks to Nemorino) and "klasjdop" (kletsdop in Dutch, a variety of top playing - photo 3).

    This type of composition has no parallel or precedent, except the "Flemish (or Dutch) Proverbs" also from P. Bruegel at the Neue Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.

    Open: Tuesday - Sunday 10 - 18 h (Thursday 10 - 21 h).
    Closed: Monday.
    Price (2013): full 14€, with the "Wien-Karte" 13€, reduced 11€ (for 27 yr & >65). Free 19 yr. Audioguide and cloak room are included.
    The ticket is also valid for the KHM collections at the Neue Burg.

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    Kunsthistorisches Museum

    by ValbyDK Written Sep 13, 2013

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    Kunsthistorisches Museum
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    The Art History Museum is located at the Maria Theresien Platz, and is housed in a very impressive building from the end of the 19th century (almost identical to the building of the Naturhistorisches Museum). The interior of the building is very beautiful, and many rooms are decorated with marble and painted ceilings. Perfect place for a museum dedicated to art!

    The Art History Museum is considered one of the most eminent museums in the World, and numerous major art works are on display here: Raphael, Vermeer, Rubens, Rembrandt, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, and many others. I also found the "Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection" and the "Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities" quite interesting.

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    Kunsthistorisches Museum - great works of Art

    by globetrott Updated Jul 30, 2012

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    Kunsthistorisches Museum
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    The collection of paintings at the royal courts had certainly at least partly the purpose of beeing able to show the most beautiful places of an empire - similar to a collection of postcards collected by tourists of today.
    In Kunsthistorisches Museum of today you may spend the whole day seeing great collections of paintings by Brueghel, Vermeer, Archimboldo, Rembrandt, Rubens, Tintoretto etc.etc.etc...
    The galleries are open daily except mondays :
    10.00a.m. - 06.00p.m., thursdays even untill 09.00p.m.!!
    CLOSED jan1st, May 1st , Nov.1st and dec.25th !!

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    the egyptian collections in Kunsthist. Museum

    by globetrott Updated Jul 30, 2012

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    the first hall of the egyptian collection
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    The egyptian- and oriental collection in Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is in a side-wing of the building to the right at the entrancehall.
    You will find various mummies there (see the mummie of a crocodile on my picture), ornate sarcophags and most of the walls of the 6 museum-halls are painted and decorated like the death-chambers in the egyptian pyramids.One of the highlights of the egyptian collection is the portrait of king Thutmosis II, who lived around 1460 B.C. Most of these exhibits were taken to Vienna in the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, when austrian archeologists made excarvations in Gizeh.
    The egyptian- and oriental collections are open daily except mondays :
    10.00a.m. - 06.00p.m., thursdays even untill 09.00p.m.!!
    it is CLOSED jan1st, May 1st , Nov.1st and dec.25th !!

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    Kunsthistorisches Museum - great architecture

    by globetrott Updated Jul 30, 2012

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    the great entrance-hall
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    Kunsthistorisches Museum is one of the 2 best museums in Vienna, not only for the great collections that you may see there, but also for the great architecture of the building, that once belonged to the Hofburg and the royal court of the Austrian empire. Collections of paintings and other works of art were quite common at a royal court and many of the exhibits of today had been given as a donation by other emperors who visited Vienna in former times.
    In order to see the best parts of the building, you have to get inside and pay for the entrance. Photography is no problem, you simply are not allowed to use a flash or tripod.
    the most beautiful parts of the building are certainly the giant entrance-hall and the high dome with a restaurant / cafe underneath.
    You are able to enter the cafe ONLY when you pay the entrance-fee for the museum !

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    The State museum of art

    by kris-t Updated May 12, 2012

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    Museum of Art History
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    Kunsthistorisches Museum -The Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, is located on Ringstrabe. The term Kunsthistorisches Museum applies to both the institution and the main building.

    It was opened in 1891 at the same time as the Naturhistorisches Museum by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. The two museums have identical exteriors and face each other across Maria-Theresien-Platz. Both buildings were built between 1872 and 1891 according to plans drawn up by Gottfried Semper and Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer.

    The two Ringstrabe museums were ordered to be built by the Emperor in order to find a suitable shelter for the Habsburgs' formidable art-collection and to make it accessible to the general public. The facade was built of sandstone. The building is rectangular in shape, and topped with a dome that is 60 meters high. The inside of the building is lavishly decorated with marble, stucco ornamentations, gold-leaf, and paintings, making it a spectacular work of art in its own right.

    One of the museum's most important sculptures, the Saliera by Benvenuto Cellini, was stolen on May 11, 2003 and recovered on Jan.21, 2006, in a box buried in a forest near the town of Zwettl, Austria. It had been the the biggest art-theft in Austrian history....

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    Vienna's National museum of Arts

    by yvgr Written Apr 4, 2012

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    Vienna's National museum of Arts
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    This Museum is very close to the Natural History Museum at Therezienplatz. It was a great experience visiting since they do have a lot of art. I've never seen such a good collection on Greece, Roman and Egypt artifacts anywhere in the World. This is a museum I'd like to vistit once again. Great place to be.

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    A visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum

    by csordila Updated Mar 1, 2012

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    Madonna of Meadow by Rafael.
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    The countdown is on. Discover up to the opening of the art chamber every week a new object Bellerophon tamed Pegasus, 1480 - Magical Pegasus sprang from the way was the decapitated body of Medusa Perseus. Bellerophon had managed to tame the winged horse, from now on, it was the ancient hero of many exploits. But when he wanted to conquer even the Olympus, threw him off the horse, and he became insane.
    P.S. Bertoldo di Giovanni was one of the teachers of the great Michelangelo.

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