Go to contents

Habsburg Collection Comes to Seoul

Posted June. 25, 2007 05:28,   


The Kunsthistorisches Museum (English: Museum of Art History) in Vienna, established in 1891, is one of Europe’s top three museums, along with the Musée du Louvre in France and the Museo del Prado in Spain. It is home to the bulk of the Habsburg collection, the collection of one of the most important ruling houses of Europe which began its era of dominance in the 16th Century when Maximilian I took the throne of the Holy Roman Empire.

An exhibition from the museum is scheduled to tour Korea, putting a collection of possessions of the Habsburg emperors and empresses on display. The National Museum of Contemporary Art inside Deoksugung Palace near City Hall will open its “Great Habsburg Collection” exhibition next Tuesday. The exhibition is divided by personages, including Ferdinand of Tirol, Rudolf II, and Maria Theresia, to help visitors appreciate not just artistic prowess but also the rich political and social context of the artifacts.

Outstanding among the impressive collections is the “Portrait of Titus Reading” by Rembrandt. The stark contrast of the dusky, secluded atmosphere and the light in the shining forehead of the model, the fourth son of the painter, suggests religious piety.

"Infanta Margarita Teresa in a White Dress" by Velázquez is another masterpiece. The portrait of the young princess is one of many pictures of her sent to Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, who was betrothed to her, in order to keep him apprised of how she was doing.

“Cymon and Iphigenia” by Peter Paul Rubens, depicting a story from Boccaccio’s Decameron, is another must-see piece. The rosy cheeks and the fair complexion tones of the women are typical features of the artist.

Other works of interest include paintings by Tiziano Vecelli, Hans von Achen and Bartholomeus Spranger.

The admission fee is 7,000 won for children, 9,000 won for teenagers, and 12,000 won for adults. Call 02-2022-0600 for more information.