The "Hofjagd-und Rüstkammer" - Armour and Arms collection is located in the Neue Burg at the Heldenplatz which is a monumental wing of the Hofburg planned to house the new living quarters of the emperor as evidenced by the stairway and marble hall. Actually this museum belongs to the KHM.
It is the most beautiful collection of suits of armour from all Europe.
The collection of weapons ( Hofjagd-und Rüstkammer) of the Kunsthistorisches Museum is centred on ceremonial or parade weapons and offers a very wide panorama of the evolution of what was a real art for the 15th century in Europe and in the Middle East.
The emperor Maximilien I devoted gladly to the tournaments and incited the young noble persons to devote to the joust and especially the running which was practised with sharp lances, more dangerous than the joust, but much less expensive because she could be practised in the battle armour.
Things did not stay in the field of ordinary armour because the Habsburg (notably both brothers Maximilien II and Ferdinand II) by taste for art and splendour led the technique of armours to a real art close to the goldsmith's art. The connoisseur will find in this museum numerous chiselled armours, inlaid armours, the fluted armours, the costume armours, greek-roman style armours, and darkened armours from the Baroque period.
Considerable financial means were needed to pay such works of art. Ferdinand II of Tyrol excelled at this passion of the beautiful suits of armour. Not satisfied with his own armours he collected armours and weapons of 125 famous persons of his time. We can see the suit of armour of Philippe II of Spain.
These collections are well presented in a number of rooms where the visitor is often alone! This museum still has not the chance (or misfortune for the connoisseurs) to be on the visit program of the groups.
There is also on show a collection of hunting weapons.
Open : Wednesday - Sunday 10 - 18 h.
I bought a joint ticket for the museum and the Leopold Museum. The one thing i would say is that if you only have an hour or two, that will not be long enough for you to make your visit be of benefit to you.
Try a whole morning or afternoon.
There is a huge amount of traditional and modern art to experience - both from the collection and visiting exhibitions.
As one of the most important art museums of Europe the "Kunsthistorisches Museum" has now a specific site on the Vienna "things to do". I'm quite glad of this. The KHM group of museums counted 1.3 million visitors in 2007. It is for Austria what Le Louvre is for France.
The gallery of paintings of the Kunsthistorisches Museum results from the project of a private imperial collection and is the reflection of the taste of the various member collectors of the dynasty of Habsburg, mainly the emperor Rodolphe II and the archdukes Ferdinand II and Leopold Guillaume. This archduke is the greatest paint collector of his 17th century. Thanks to him the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna became a museum of an essential importance as regards the Flemish and Venetian Schools. One will notice that this collection is geographically limited to the countries which had narrow links with the Habsburg i.e. Germany, the South of Netherlands (Belgium) the North of Italy and Spain but that France and Holland, with whom Austria had tense relations, are only weakly represented. It would be vain to review the painters and the works of this grand collection of the 15th to the 18th centuries. The collection of Pieter Bruegel the Elder is unequalled and is worth by itself the journey to Vienna. Furthermore there are Van der Weyden, Dürer, Jordaens, Rubens, Van Dyck, Titien, Tintoret, Veronese, Canaleto, Velasquez and many others. One of my favourite paintings, besides the Bruegels, is the" Allegorie of Painting" of Vermeer who was acquired in 1945. I find extraordinary that 65 years ago one could still buy a Vermeer!
On my last visit I found this amusing "trompe l'oeil" picture from Samuel van Hoogstraten, a pupil from Rembrandt (photo 3).
Open: Tuesday - Sunday 10 - 18 h (Thursday 10 - 21 h).
Price (2011): 12 €, Vienna card 11 €, 27 yr & > 65 yr 9 €.
Free 19 yr.
The ticket is also valid for the KHM collections at the Neue Burg.
If you don't have a lot of time in Vienna - you should definately make one of your stops the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The displays are interesting and the building itself is amazing. You can see where the Austro-Hungarian empire had money at one point.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna consists of various collections set in locations throughout Vienna. The main building is on Maria Theresien-Platz and consists of the Picture Gallery,
Collection of Sculpture and Decorative Art,
Egyptian and Nearer Eastern Collection,
Collection of Greak and Roman Antiquities and the Coin Cabinet.
The Ephesus Museum, the Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments, Collection of Arms and Armour are housed in nearby Neue Burg, The Treasury is housed at the Hofburg, and the Museum of Carriages and Department of Court Uniforms is housed at the Schloss Schonbrunn.
The Lipizzaner Museum in the Stallburg as well as Ambras Castle in Innsbruck, are also part of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, even though they operate as independent museums. Since January 2001, the Museum of Ethnology and the Austrian Theatre Museum have also been part of the group.
Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Picture galleries)
Vienna Card: € 9,00
If not, adults: € 10,00
Good Collection of Ruebens, Rembrandt, Titian and Poussin.
Archduke Leopold Wilhelm founded the picture gallery around the middle of the 17th century with works acquired while he was Governor of the Netherlands. His collection of some 1400 paintings was mainly the product of the Venetian Renaissance (Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto), but also included major works of 15th to 17th century Flemish masters (van Eyck, Rubens, van Dyck).
Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m
Though the museums of Vienna do not compare to those of Paris or Rome / Vatican, they are still well-stocked with beautiful examples of painting perfection. The best example of this is the Kunsthistorisches Museum. With brilliant paintings by Raphael, van Eyck, and Rembrandt, just to name a few of my favorites, this museum should definitely be on your list of things to see while in Vienna. Raphael's Madonna is the best of the bunch, I thought.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum is one of Europe's finest art galleries, with an extraordinary collection of paintings.
In virtually every room, you'll come across paintings that are familiar from art books and posters the world over: several of Rembrandt's self-portraits, some of Bruegel's vibrant scenes of village life, one of Vermeer's best-known works, Italian painting from Tintoretto to Titian, Arcimboldo's fanciful portraits using fish or fruits. The list is truly endless. In addition, there are extensive collections of artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.
The surprising thing about the museum is that if you go in the early part of the day, or later in the evening, you'll often have the place almost to yourself. This is especially true if there's a special exhibition: the tour groups will go there, and you can enjoy the other treasures at your leisure, and in peace.
Its one of the world-renown history museum. If you do not have much time, you can at least come to this museum and go directly to the second floor where famous masterpieces are exhibited.
It has a wonderful cafe too.
One of the finest museums I have enjoyed. The Kunst Historiches Museum rates right up there with the Louvre and Prado. From ancient Egyptian and Greek to classical master pieces, it was a great experience. The museum was designed as a museum. The architecture is stunning.
We were hoping to see an exhibit of Automata, or moving/singing machines from the past, but we found that wing closed upon arrival, not having been apprised of this by the website. The Durers, the Rembrandts, the Bruegels---these are very nice in a boring, rainy day kind of way, but we were expecting a little more excitement. This is a fantastic museum of its kind and is recommended highly for a rainy day in Vienna. 12 euros.
Peter Bruegel was the greatest of 16th Century Flemish painters and holds an inordinately large percentage of the 100 greatest paintings of all time as listed by Listology. He is most famed for his landscapes and images of peasant life, although far from a peasant himself. Attention to landscape was unique in his era as most painters simply used it as a background. And much of what we know about peasant life at this time is derived from his unique interest, often populating his landscapes with them. His detailed depictions of daily life, meals, festivals, celebrations, games - astounding. There are about 45 authenticated Bruegel works and the KHM incredibly has up to 14 of them, all displayed in one amazing room. Each great museum has a superstar. Enjoy the incredible detail in these selected paintings in real life - take time - one just cannot meander past them.
THE TOWER OF BABEL - ranked by Listology as 69 among the world's greatest 100 paintings - depicts the biblical story as a failure of communication and engineering. Modelled after the Roman Colosseum with innumerable arches, it depicts the layers of the building on a slant while the arches are perpendicular. The resulting architectural stress has caused some parts of the building to crumble. The upper levels are more complete than some of the lower levels. Characters in 16thC dress observe from afar the chaotic construction.
THE FIGHT BETWEEN CARNIVAL AND LENT - ranked by Listology as 29 among the world's greatest 100 paintings - depicts the two forces dominant in peasant life during the 16th C., an inn on the left with beer drinkers gathered in front and a church on the right with children. In the center, a well and two competing floats. And in the foreground the contemporary caricature of carnival, a fat man dressed in blue. He sits astride a wine barrel with a pie on his head and a stake holding a pig's head. One can look at this forever, and I did.
THE PEASANT WEDDING - a most famous work, with every figure dissected by the art experts. Set in a barn, the meal of bread, porridge, and soup. The bride sits under the canopy, the identity of the groom uncertain but perhaps the man in black with a beer mug. The meal is served from a disconnected barn door. Being a peasant wasn't easy.
THE HUNTERS IN THE SNOW - one of the most popular old master paintings for Christmas cards, this melancholy depiction of three tired hunters and their equally tired dogs trudging home after a poor day of hunting with only one meager carcass, stated to be a fox, to show for their day. In the background, skaters on a frozen river. One of my absolute favorites.
THE CONVERSION OF PAUL - one of the few Bruegel paintings not set in the Flemish countryside, it depicts Saul the Pharisee on his way to Damascus from Jerusalem to harrass Christians. He has just been struck to the ground and is almost invisible. The setting is the Alps and the soldiers and officers are dressed in traditional Flemish garb circa the 16th C despite the Biblical Era timeframe and the long detour through south-central Europe
The list of grand masters represented at the KHM is really long and not limited to Titian, Rubens, Durer, Tintoretto, Cranach, van Dyke, and Veronese. These are some but not all of those for whom there is no space here. Below, a random sampling to suggest the breadth of paintings assembled by the Habsburgs ( not coincidentally some of my favorites ).
Image 1 - Summer - Giuseppe Arcimboldo - 1527-93 - an Italian painter and student of Leonardo da Vinci, he became court painter for the Habsburgs as well as a party planner for the over the top social events of European royalty. His sacred and secular art were of only average ability. His fame rests with the composite portraits of himself and his patrons and subjects, figures composed of animals, fish, vegetables and fruits, books, tools, mystical creatures. A cucumber becomes a nose, a shark becomes a mouth. Most famous are his alleged self-portraits as the four seasons. There are several sets done years apart - this image is Summer, done in 1563. His work at KHM is among the most highly prized.
Image 2 - David with the Head of Goliath - Michaelangelo daCaraveggio - 1571-1610 - introduced a striking change in portrait art by shifting from light to dark with little intervening shade of grey, as seen here, and later adapted by many Baroque painters. The severed head of Goliath is a self portrait by Caraveggio himself. Listology ranks this painting as number 74 of the world's 100 greatest paintings.
Image 3 - Self Portrait - Rembrandt - note the absence of background, a tribute to Caraveggio. Rembrandt painted the great movers and shakers of his era, but his best model remains himself, here as an older man.
Image 4 - Jane Seymour - Hans Holbein - 1498-1543 - a German artist considered one of the greatest portrait painters of the 16th C, he did his most famous work in the court of Henry VIII King of England. Known for the extreme detail and accuracy of his art, his paintings are for many important historical figures like Henry their most accepted likeness today. Later in his career, he stopped using background scenery such as sitting rooms and just painted his figure against a monochrome background, unique in his era. The third of Henry VIII six wives, she was the only one to bear him a son, but died shortly after childbirth of infection. She would be the only wife to receive a Queen's burial although never having been a queen in real life.
Image 5 - The Artist in His Studio aka The Art of Painting - Johannes Vermeer - 1632-75 - little is known of the famed painter from Delft who specialized in domestic paintings with exquisite use of light. Apparently slow and tedious, his production was limited and there are less than 40 works attributed to him with certainty. Each is a study in delicate use of bright colors. Listology records this painting as number 78 among the world's greatest 100 paintings.
The central hall of the KMH can be considered a work of art simply for its beauty. All marble, covered in stucco and gold leaf, and dominated by a huge staircase and the octagonal dome, this is indeed a room worth studying. The great fresco on the ceiling (image 3) above the grand staircase is by the Hungarian realist Munkacsy (1888). The cupola of the dome (image 4) is visible in entirety only from the second level and has two layers of features - the lowermost has relief busts of the Habsburg emperors and the upper level coats of arms and monograms of the Hapsburg family and individual important ruling members. Between the ground and second levels a central hole in the ceiling allows one to look up from ground level to the top. On the second floor under the dome an expensive and posh cafe offers goodies and coffee, apparently becoming an upscale restaurant at night after the museum closes. Must be quite a venue. At the landing of the great staircase an oversized sculpture documents Theseus Slaying the Centaur Bianor ( images 1,2 ). Note at the foot of the staircase the lions - they hold the Habsburg coat of arms.
THESEUS SLAYING THE CENTAUR - the amazing Theseus, son of Aegeus the king of Athens, had a remarkable career including killing the Minotaur and preventing the Amazons from attacking Athens. He is most famous for killing Bianor the Centaur and saving Hippodamia, the bride of his friend Pirithous king of the Lapiths, from being kidnapped.
The fourth largest collection of paintings in the world exemplifies the Habsburg craze for fine artwork as well as antiquities. The museum strong points are 16th and 17th C masterworks from Northern Italy, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium with a special emphasis on Flemish painters. It is not a coincidence that these were the lands ruled by the Habsburgs during this period, of course. The old master's museum is divided into sections corresponding to the countries mentioned.
As in most museums the truly famous works of art are interspersed with lesser efforts and, in this museum where signage is almost exclusively German, a good guide book is necessary to lead one through the central larger rooms and smaller peripheral rooms in a logical order so that the work emanating from each country is viewed as a unit. Even with a guide the room layout and numbering is confusing - considerable great art is bypassed unintentionally.
I was carried away when I first visited it - its architecture and all the paintings made me want to visit it again and again. Austria opens it to the public for free on its National Day. Across it is the Naturhistorisches Museum but don't do what I've done on my first visit: visit the two on the same day. I thought my mind would blow. I was so exhausted.
The architecture of the Kunsthistorisches Museum is just so impressive and of course the collections themselves. Drink a coffee in its small coffeehouse and don't rush so you wil enjoy everything including the special/featured exhibition.
You will find a number of masterpieces here like works of Bruegel and my other favourites like Rubens, Rembrant, Raphael, Velazquez, Titian and Durer. It was the Emperor Franz Joseph who have had the Kunsthistorisches Museum built to house the imperial collections.
Please visit http://www.khm.at to get all the informations you may need like prices, opening hours and exhibitions.