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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna (Prestel Museum Guides)

Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna (Prestel Museum Guides)

1 rating: 5.0
A book released January 2003 by Prestel

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Author: Prestel
Publisher: Prestel Publishing
Date Published: January 2003
1 review about Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna...

Breathtaking!

  • Dec 26, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5

The Italian term "belvedere" refers to a vantage point where there is a beautiful view into the distance. The site of a baroque summer palace built by Johann Kupetzky, Prince Eugene of Savoy, known as The Belvedere in Vienna certainly qualifies. From the summit of the Upper Belvedere, one has a magnificent view of the city. The Lower Belvedere, built at the opposite end of a large, modestly declining tract of land, is divided from the Upper by a series of gardened terraces, parterres, basins, cascades and stone sculptures.

"Belvedere Vienna" (the book) is a small but beautiful souvenir memento of the building, its architecture and history as well as the magnificent art collection it contains.

This superb collection was first opened to the public in 1780 by Emperor Joseph II. The collection, which of course has grown significantly over the years, has moved from place to place and was for some time housed in Vienna's new museum of art history, the Kunsthistorisches Hofmuseum.

In its current incarnation, the exhibit could be called an incredibly impressive and eclectic survey of Austrian art based around many important works of excellent artistic quality. The collection is broken down into the following broad groupings:

Medieval Art
Baroque
Neoclassicism, Romanticism and the Biedermeier movement
Historicism, Realism and Impressionism
Art at the turn of the Twentieth Century
Art after 1918

The book is beautifully illustrated with a generous number of colored photographs of a major selection of paintings from the collection and each painting is accompanied by a detailed critical analysis that talks about the artist, the painting's style, its importance to the particular art movement it represents and its context in Austrian history.

Whether it's the Louvre in Paris, The Tate Modern in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City or the Belvedere in Vienna, there is no way a tourist can absorb and appreciate such magnificent collections on a single tour through that spans only a few brief hours. It takes a well thought out book such as "Belvedere Vienna" to memorialize the collection and allow a fan like myself to return time and time again to absorb the beauty and meaning of the artists' efforts.

One of my favourites, Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss", actually left me quite cold when I first saw it. It's only through repeated visits and repeated re-readings of the editor's analysis of this wonderful painting that I've grown fond of it. Indeed, it's become one of my favourites and I would relish a second opportunity to see it for real in Vienna.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss

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December 28, 2009
I am an art lover myself and I just want to say thank you for the review! My mother actually has a huge fabric wall hanging of Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss". I'll have to take a look at this book. Keep that art content coming! :)
December 28, 2009
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Take a peek at the cover of the photos I found.
December 29, 2009
Thanks, that's funny that I didn't care much for that image when I first saw it. But the more I looked at it on my mom's wall the more I liked it - it is very unique :)
 
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Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna (Prestel Museum Guides)
Osterreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna (Prestel Museum Guides)
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