Wow! If you love Gustav Klimt, you must visit the Belvedere Palace & Museum in Vienna, Austria

That's me and my lovely wife, Lia, blocking the view of the Belvedere Palace

That’s me and my lovely wife, Lia, blocking the view of the Belvedere Palace

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.

One of the magnificent rooms of the Belvedere

One of the magnificent rooms of the Belvedere

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.

Gustav Klimt painting, The Kiss

Gustav Klimt painting, The Kiss

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.

Gustav Klimt painting, Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer

Gustav Klimt painting, Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer

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.

That's a Renoir on the right and a Monet next to it

That’s a Renoir on the right and a Monet next to 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.

One wall with three Klimt floral paintings

One wall with three Klimt floral paintings

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.

Rare Argy-Rousseau elephant paperweight, just in

Rare Argy-Rousseau elephant paperweight, just in

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.

A rare blue Tiffany Favrile salt, just in

A rare blue Tiffany Favrile salt, just in

Look around my website. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.

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