Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Art History Museum in Vienna

Figure 1 - Entrance to the Egyptian Collection
     After leaving Paris, we next headed to Vienna for our first visit there ever. We absolutely fell in love with the city!

     Aside from wonderful sights like the Hofburg and Schoenbunn Palace (palaces used by the Austrian Emperors) there are a great number of cultural events to enjoy. Sadly the opera house was closed for the summer, but we did enjoy listening to some Mozart and Strauss in the Hofburg.

     On our next to last day in Vienna I went to the Kunsthistorische Museum (the Art History Museum), which is in a beautiful building near the opera house and the National Assembly. The interior of the building is worth a visit all by itself. When you enter you are facing a spectacular staircase that leads up to the second floor. On the right is a shorter stairway that leads to the Egyptian collection at the top of which is a door flanked by two statues of Sekhmet (see figure 1).

Figure 2 - a painting by Gustav Klimt in the Museum.
     If you ignore the Egyptian collection for a minute and head up the main stairs to the second floor (see Figure 3) you will find yourself facing another stairway up into the very "rafters" of the building where you can find a number of "Egyptianizing" paintings done by Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 - February 6, 1918). Klimt executed paintings in a number of buildings in Vienna and was awarded the "Golden Order of Merit" by Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph for his paintings in Vienna's BurgTheater.

Figure 3 - Main Stairs to the Second Floor
     The painting here (figure 2) shows an Egyptian Queen standing in front of the goddess Nekhbet (the vulture goddess who was the goddess of royal women in ancient Egypt).  

Photos Copyright 2012 by John Freed

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