24 September 2010 – 16 January 2011
THE PRINCE AS COLLECTOR. New Acquisitions under Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein
The dynamic purchasing policy of the regnant Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein continues the centuries of collecting within the princely house to the present day and is constantly augmenting the holdings of the Princely Collections.
The Princely Collections
Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein possesses one of the world’s largest and most important private art collections. Masterpieces of European art spanning five centuries, from the early Renaissance to the Baroque, form the nucleus of this private collection. As patrons and collectors since the 17th century, the Liechtenstein family have continued to keep alive the ideal of princely patronage down the generations to the present day, and the active acquisition policy pursued by the ruling prince has led to more than 700 new objects being acquired for the collection’s holdings.
The Aquisitions Policy of teh House of Liechtenstein
By the 17th century the Princes Karl Eusebius I and Johann Adam Andreas I von Liechtenstein had assembled a superb collection of Flemish painting, holdings which have been extended over the past few years with works by artists ranging from Quentin Massys to Peter Paul Rubens. Represented by the works of Old Masters of the major European schools from the 14th to the 18th century together with great artists of the Biedermeier era such as Friedrich von Amerling and Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, painting still constitutes the core holdings of the Princely Collections.
Many of the losses resulting from the sale of objects during the post-war period have been compensated for by new acquisitions made over the past few years; the collection of sculptures in particular has been considerably enhanced by a number of important acquisitions including major works by Andrea Mantegna, Jacopo Sansovino, Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi, Alessandro Algardi and the Austrian artists Georg Raphael Donner and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt.
The pietra dura collection started by Prince Karl I von Liechtenstein at the beginning of the 17th century has recently been rounded off with the Badminton Cabinet, the most important work to be created in the Grand-ducal workshops in Florence, and other spectacular acquisitions such as the Cabinet by Melchior Baumgartner, making this one of the most complete collections of its kind.
In the field of furniture and porcelain wholly new accents have been placed with acquisitions of elegant Boulle and Roentgen furniture. The same holds true for the collection of drawings, prints and the Historic Library, whose holdings have also been substantially extended.
The exhibition is produced by the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna, curated by Johann Kräftner, Director of the Princely Collections, Vaduz, and the Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna.
Peter Paul Rubens, Modello zu Mars und Thea Silvia, um 1616
Friedrich von Amerling, Girl with Straw Hat, 1835
Unknown Master, Intarsia cabinet, 1560–1570