Gustav Klimt. Remember that name if you are like many who have never heard of him.
Klimt stands with Picasso as one of the most recognized artists in the world with very distinctive paintings.
And, his most famous painting, The Kiss, and a large collection of others were on display at Belvedere Palace in Vienna. Lucky for us, Belvedere is only a short walk from the apartment where we stayed.
One Klimt painting sold for $135M nine years ago, only recently eclipsed by a couple of other art works, including a Picasso.
They are so valuable that the city of Venice, sinking financially as well as otherwise, is thinking of selling one that it owns that they believe will fetch $80M.
Greg and Sue realized they saw a 2015 film, based on a true story, “Woman in Gold” that tells of an elderly Jewish woman (starring Helen Mirren) who successfully took on the Austrian government to recover a Klimt painting looted by the Nazis from her family.
Besides the large Klimt show, which ended Sunday, the Belvedere Palace has many other big names in the world of art, including Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Leger, and Rodin. And, we were introduced to our favorite of the day, Ferdinand Waldmuller, whose entire collection of people and scenery from the mid 1800’s looked like detailed photographs.
The Belvedere Palace today is an art gallery and a large garden, rather than a furnished place although there were some ornately decorated rooms. Of course, it is palatial and was the summer home of Prince Eugene of Savoy, one of the most successful military commanders ever in Europe. But by his death in the early 1700’s, royalty had built more impressive places elsewhere, so there was little interest, although a masked ball was held there in 1770 for 16,000 persons. Soon after, though, it began its history as one of the country’s oldest art museums.