The Liechtenstein Museum is a collection of artwork by princes from the old Liechtenstein family. Its location was a palace in a suburb of Vienna on the Fürstengass.
The formation of the collection began in the 17th century under Prince Karl Eusebius of Liechtenstein. His heirs continued the glorious tradition of their ancestor and did not stop collecting unique canvases of such painters as Rubens, Raphael, Mantegna.
The diamond of the collection was Leonardo da Vinci's painting “Portrait of Ginevra de Benchi”. Unfortunately, in 1967 it was sold at auction for five million dollars.
In addition, the collection of the princes of Liechtenstein contains many rare books, sculptures, paintings of Florentine mosaics, tapestries, prints, carved bones, enamel, silver, furniture, porcelain, coins and medals.
The representative of the princely family Hartmann von Liechtenstein, whose main hobby was books, began to collect all this wealth. Under his close relative, Charles I von Lichtenstein, the collection began to be actively replenished with new works of art, and even the then Emperor Rudolph II did not have as many rarities as representatives of a noble Austrian family.
Subsequently, each new generation of Liechtenstein replenished the family collection, guided by their tastes and passions, until the middle of the 20th century. Now in the Museum of Liechtenstein you can see almost all areas of classical art: European Baroque, Austrian Biedermeier or French Rococo.
The geographical spread of the presented exposition is impressive. This is the Flemish Baroque from the North, and the work of Italian masters of painting and sculpture from the South, and paintings by Biedermeier. All this splendor is crowned with artistic images of representatives of the Liechtenstein clan, thanks to which the current generation of art lovers can enjoy the works of outstanding masters of the past. The exhibition features more than 1600 works of art.
Among the representatives of the “northern” school of painting in the exposition, one can note the works of Rubens, Rembrandt and Van Dyck. The "southern" part of the collection belongs to the brush of Guido Reni, Marcantonio Francesine and Canaletto.
Collisions of a new era
Before the war, the collection of the princely family of Liechtenstein was put on public display. In March 2004, the museum reopened to visitors. Representatives of the family that had been collecting pearls of world art for several centuries planned to add paintings from the collections of such noble Austrian families as Borromei and Harrahi to their exposition, which would allow receiving about three hundred thousand visitors every year. In 2009, part of the Liechtenstein collection was displayed at the Russian Pushkin Museum.
In 2011, due to the decline in the number of visitors, the Liechtenstein Museum was closed for free access. Today, in order to organize excursions to this unique place, you should agree in advance with its owners.