Thursday 18 September 2008

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Habsburg State Rooms
Albertina Palace

Home of the "Albertina Gallery"
since the beginning of the 19th Century.

"The Albertina is a museum in the Innere Stadt (First District) of Vienna, Austria. It houses one of the largest and most important graphics collections in the world with approximately 65,000 drawings and approximately 1 million old master prints, as well as more modern graphics works." *

"Vienna's Albertina was erected on one of the last remaining sections of the fortifications of Vienna, the Augustian Bastion. Originally, the Hofbauamt (Court Construction Office), which had been built in the second half of the 17th century, stood in that location. In 1745, it was refurbished by the director of the Hofbauamt, Emanuel Teles Count Silva-Tarouca [1], to become his palace. It was therefore also known as Palais Taroucca. The building was later taken over by Duke Albert of Saxen-Teschen. He used it as his residence and later brought his collection there from Brussels, where he had acted as the governor of the Habsburg Netherlands. For that purpose, he had the building extended by Louis Montoyer. Since then, the palace has immediately bordered the Hofburg. The collection was expanded by Albert's successors.

The collection of paintings was created by Duke Albert with the Genoese count Giacomo Durazzo (Austrian ambassador in Venice). In 1776 the count presented nearly 1,000 pieces of art to the Duke Albert and his wife Marie-Christine (Maria Theresia's daughter). Graf Giacomo Durazzo - brother of Marcello Durazzo (Doge of Genoa) - "wanted to create a collection for posterity that served higher purposes than all others: education and the power of morality should distinguish his collection..." . In the 1820s Archduke Charles initiated further modifications of the building by Joseph Kornhäusel, which affected mostly the interior decoration. After Archduke Charles, Archduke Albert and Archduke Friedrich, Duke of Teschen lived in the building.

In early 1919, the building and the collection passed from the Habsburgs into the ownership of the Republic of Austria. In 1920, the collection of prints was unified with the collection of the former imperial court library. The name Albertina was established in 1921.

In March 1945, the Albertina was heavily damaged by bomb attacks.
The Albertina was completely refurbished
and modernized from 1998 until 2003
." *

* Quoted from Wikipedia


  1. When the view past the window curtains offers but gray vistas, looking down at the exhuberant colours of the tassels seems like a sensible way to enjoy some colour.

    The verdigris roof seen in the post's window view sits atop the Emperor Francis Joseph's Palm House, in the Burggarten, formerly the emperor's private garden.

    If you'd like to see more pictures of and around Vienna's Albertina, click on the images. ;-)

    The sun's back here, I'd like to add. :-)

    A happy Thursday to everyone,
    and thank you very much for your visits and kind comments,

  2. What a beautifully tasselificated post :-)

  3. I liked what I saw when I clicked on that grey sky! happy Thursday to you as well.

  4. Love the rich golds!! I'm so envious of all the vast art and history you have such easy access to!

  5. Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !
    LOVE this post!!!!!!

  6. You can't have too many beautifully fancy tassels! (I certainly don't have enough of them!)

  7. You've shot those tassels and adornments so well, and a good dose of history of the Palace to go with it.


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