To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birthday of Gustav Klimt on July 14, 2012, the Kunsthistorisches Museum will showcase its important wall paintings designed and executed by the celebrated painter and draughtsman.
In 1890, a year before the formal opening of the newly- erected Court Museum housing the Imperial art collections, Gustav Klimt, his younger brother, Ernst, and a friend and colleague, Franz Matsch, were commissioned to execute the series of paintings depicting important periods of European art, among them Ancient Egyptian as well as Ancient Greek and Roman art. This magnificent series is still displayed between the columns and above the arcades in the Main Staircase, about 12 m above the Entrance Hall.
A specially-built bridge spanning the width of the Main Staircase will offer visitors a close-up view of Klimt’s paintings on the north wall.
In addition, a temporary show in the Special Exhibition Gallery will present the evolution of the series, a seminal work in Klimt’s oeuvre around 1900. It will focus on Gustav Klimt’s “Ringstrassenperiode”. Paintings and graphic works from the holdings of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, augmented by loans from public collections in Switzerland and Germany as well as from private collectors, will showcase Klimt’s oeuvre from his paintings for the Burgtheater to those commissioned for the Kunsthistorisches Museum to Klimt’s “golden period”.