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Arnulf Rainer Museum in Baden bei Wien

Arnulf Rainer’s hometown of Baden pays tribute to this versatile and busy painter with a museum devoted to his work – and housed in a former bath that is a gem of 19th-century architecture.

 © Thomas Gorisek

Baden bei Wien, Josefsplatz 5

Baden bei Wien, Josefsplatz 5 on the map

For over 60 years Arnulf Rainer has been causing a stir as an enfant terrible of this country’s art scene. His body of work, which often transcends genres, is very extensive and encompasses styles ranging from surrealism and Viennese Actionism to his famous “overpaintings” of photos and pictures.

The museum honours the artist by presenting two new exhibitions each year. These shows are, as it were, commented on by the master himself – by Rainer’s aphorisms and quotations found throughout the exhibition spaces, and through a revealing film portrait. The impressive original architecture of the Marienbad, built in 1821, was completely preserved in the renovation process and cleverly adapted: some pictures now hang in wood-panelled changing rooms and over stone swimming pools.