My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.
If you like great museums, Vienna is the place for you. We visited a few, but were really blown away by the Upper Belvedere, one of two summer palaces of General Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736). The palace itself is a gorgeous Baroque building, designed by the architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt (1668-1745), and built between 1712 and 1715. Today it’s a wonderful museum, with a great collection of paintings.
Foremost is the museum’s wonderful collection of 22 Gustav Klimt works, including the truly fabulous painting, The Kiss. It’s really impressive in person and much larger than I imagined, almost 6′ square. According to the museum’s curator, Dr. Alfred Weidinger, the Belvedere purchased The Kiss for 25,000 crowns on the first day it was exhibited in 1908. That is today’s equivalent of approximately $250,000. Also according to Dr. Weidinger, no painting had been sold prior in Austria for more than 500 crowns. Klimt was certainly no starving artist.
In 2006, Ronald Lauder (of Estee Lauder fame and fortune), paid $135 million for a 1907 Klimt portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, that was previously on display in the same room as The Kiss, at the Belvedere. Lauder purchased the painting from Mrs. Bloch-Bauer’s niece, Maria Altmann, who successfully sued the Austrian government to recover five Klimt paintings stolen by the Nazis from her aunt and uncle during WWII. The price Lauder paid suggests that The Kiss is one of the most valuable works of art on the planet. We’ll never know for sure as the Belvedere will never sell it.
Other great artists are well-represented in the museum’s collection, including Claude Monet, Egon Schiele, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Oskar Kokoschka, to name a few. The museum is not too large and not too small, just like Goldilocks porridge, but the collection reveals the Midas touch.
No shows until late July, but we’re still very much in business. Please don’t hesitate to call or write. We’re always interested in buying, selling or trading.
Click here to view French cameo glass for sale. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show.
Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.