Lower Belvedere and the former Orangery are venues for top temporary exhibitions. These shows focus on presenting Austrian art in an international context, as defined in the Belvedere’s original mission back in 1903 (when it was founded) as the Moderne Galerie.
An insight into medieval art can be gained at the Medieval Treasury, opened in 2007 at the former Palace Stables that once accommodated Prince Eugene’s personal horses. This study collection gives the public access to the Belvedere’s entire holdings of medieval art.
The Belvedere’s garden is one of Europe’s most significant historical gardens in French style and, even in its pared down form today, is still a fine example of late Baroque garden design. In front of the Upper Belvedere’s outdoor steps, a large pool mirrors and duplicates the building’s facade. At the opposite end of the grounds, closest to the city on Rennweg, a cour d’honneur abuts the Lower Belvedere. The Kammergarten (Privy Garden) adjoins the Lower Belvedere to the right and continues to the Orangery at its northern end. This narrow strip on the west of the plot of land was for the sole use of the prince. Next to the Upper Belvedere, up until 1726 the grounds extended eastward to encompass a semi-circular menagerie. To the south, a geometrical kitchen garden was located in the area now occupied by Vienna’s Botanical Gardens.
GUSTAV KLIMT AT THE BELVEDERE
Austrian painter Gustav Klimt (1862–1918), one of the main proponents of Viennese Modernism around 1900, is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. The Belvedere possesses the world’s most extensive collection of the artist’s work, with twenty-four pieces to its name and several others on permanent loan. This assemblage of his works is complemented by the Beethoven Frieze, on permanent loan to the Secession, along with an eleven-part copy of that monumental work and various valuables owned by the artist himself.