The Albertina, a trip to the most important modernist art in Europe in Vienna

Hardly anywhere else in Vienna combines historical charm with an impressive artistic experience in this way.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
22 May 2023 Monday 22:30
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The Albertina, a trip to the most important modernist art in Europe in Vienna

Hardly anywhere else in Vienna combines historical charm with an impressive artistic experience in this way. The Albertina is located in a majestic city palace that was inhabited by the imperial family in the past. A visit to the former residence of the Habsburgs -which is part of the Hofburg- and an internationally renowned art museum, located in the historic heart of the Austrian capital, is essential on any trip to Vienna.

The museum becomes the perfect place to recharge your batteries, whether it's taking a leisurely stroll through the exhibitions, meditating in front of the works of art, or enjoying a coffee or soft drink on one of Vienna's most beautiful terraces. the do

The museum is pure classical modernism. Its permanent collection, one of the most important in Europe, makes it a unique space in Austria where you can have an appointment with Monet, Renoir, Kandinsky or Picasso. The 500 works that its Batliner Collection treasures are exhibited 365 days a year and range from impressionism to cubism.

The permanent exhibition begins with artists of impressionism and post-impressionism such as Degas, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin. There is also representation of German expressionism, with the groups of Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, and of the art of the New Objectivity, with works by Wacker, Sedlacek and Hofer. An in-depth look at Austrian art includes works by Kokoschka and paintings by Egger-Lienz. The great diversity of the Russian avant-garde is present with paintings by Goncharova, Malevich and Chagall. The collection is rounded out by Picasso's many chefs-d'oeuvres, ranging from his early Cubist paintings and works from his mature period of the 1940s to magnificent yet-to-be-exhibited etchings and paintings from Picasso's late experimental period. he.

However, the Albertina not only represents a building and an art museum, but also stands out for hosting one of the oldest, largest and best-known graphic collections in the world. Incomparable and unique, it is no coincidence that the museum was included in the list of the “7 Urban Wonders of the World” in 2018 thanks to its wide offer and its varied and first-class exhibition program. Austrian and international art, from the Middle Ages to the present day, outstanding collections and loans from all over the world: there is art for every taste. A second location, Albertina Modern, opened in 2020 and has since been considered the best place in Vienna to enjoy contemporary art.

How did the founders of the Albertina, Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen and his wife Maria Cristina, live? What was it like to enjoy courtly luxury as the favorite daughter of Empress Maria Theresa? They are questions to which you will answer touring the palace. Its unique Viennese melange of modern exhibition house and former imperial palace makes it a special tourist attraction, with 20 originally restored rooms and precious original furniture that will transport you back to the days of the old Habsburgs. The original inlaid floors, colorful silk wall coverings, chandeliers, luxurious furnishings and feudal furnishings bear witness to the splendor of bygone eras and provide an insight into the dissolute life of the archducal family 250 years ago.

Another of the singular places that can be discovered when visiting the imperial halls of the Albertina, are the Spanish apartments, which once belonged to the old Tarouca palace. These apartments were designed for the sister of Archduke Frederick (the last imperial inhabitant of the Albertina), Archduchess Maria Cristina. María Cristina herself married King Alfonso XII in 1897, who was living in exile at the time. Alfonso XII died in 1885 and María Cristina reigned in the name of her son Alfonso XIII, the current great-grandfather of King Felipe of Spain.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the reopening of the Albertina, a two-part exhibition of prints has opened the spring at the museum: Dürer, Munch and Miró, in the main building, and From Andy Warhol to Damien Hirst, in the Albertina Modern. In addition, the museum pays homage to Pablo Picasso (until June 18) on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death and Alex Katz (until May 29) on his 95th birthday with their respective exhibitions. The Albertina Modern is currently exhibiting the work of the exceptional Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara (until November 1).

In summer, Georg Baselitz (from June 7) and Valie Export (from June 23) will arrive at the Albertina, and in autumn it will be Michelangelo's turn (from September 14). Katharina Grosse (from November 1) and Gottfried Helnwein (from October 25) will also visit the museum.