Rubens in Vienna
As the home of the collections of the Picture Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and the Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna offers a unique and comprehensive survey of the work of Peter Paul Rubens. No other city in the world offers visitors the chance to see and experience such a wealth of first-class paintings from all the different artistic periods of the Flemish master.
Archduke Leopold William, whose collection forms the core of the collection of paintings now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and Johann Adam Andreas I of Liechtenstein, who commissioned the family´s magnificent summer palace in Vienna, are among the most important seventeenth century collectors of Rubens. They were rivals when it came to acquiring works by the Flemish painter, with Prince Johann Adam Andreas I, for example, buying Rubens´ portrait of Clara Serena from the Archduke.
Unlike the Archduke and the Prince, Count Lamberg, whose collection entered the picture gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, was a private collector who preferred the spontaneous handling characteristic of small-scale paintings - the oil-sketches.
From December 5, 2004, the picture galleries of the Academy of Fine Arts, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and the Liechtenstein Museum will present their combined treasures to the public.
Rubens´ works in the three museums will be newly installed and augmented by additional loans in order to showcase the magnificent oeuvre of this outstanding Flemish painter.
The Liechtenstein Museum will use this opportunity to enhance its permanent collection by hosting a special exhibition presenting additional paintings and sketches by Rubens. Its holdings will be substantially augmented by loans from other museums and collectors.
The aim of this joint exhibition is to draw the public´s attention to the fact that the return to Vienna of the magnificent collections of the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein has re-united all these glorious paintings in the Austrian capital for the first time since 1938, and to celebrate the "Year of Rubens" in 2005. A combined catalogue that includes all the works by Rubens now housed in Vienna is sure to become a seminal work.