Housed since 1805 in a grand Neoclassical Viennese Palace is the Albertina, home to one of the most important and extensive graphic art collections worldwide, comprising around 50,000 drawings and watercolours in addition to some 900,000 graphic art works, not to mention an impressive portfolio of architectural and photographic exhibits, too.
Taking its name from the collection’s founder, Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen, the Albertina features key works of French Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, German Expressionism, Fauvism and the Russian Avant Garde, with an A-list line-up of artists including Monet, Renoir, Miró, Chagall, Kandinsky, Cézanne, Modigliani, Picasso, Kirchner, Rothko and Bacon making up the highly impressive Batliner Collection, permanently gifted to the museum in 2007.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the reopening of the Albertina, from today (Friday, 20th September) until 12th January 2014 the museum will play host to a new temporary exhibition dedicated to Henri Matisse and the Fauvist artistic movement. On display for the first time in Austria, the exhibition brings together some 160 works by Henri Matisse and the Fauves including André Derain (considered the co-founder of Fauvism alongside Matisse), Georges Braque, Maurice de Vlaminck and Kees van Dongen.
Although Fauvism itself only lasted a couple of years, it is regarded as the first avant-garde movement in early 20th-century art and indeed a pioneer of Modernism. Meaning “wild animals”‘ the Fauves caused a stir with their art, their paintings characterised by riotous use of colour and intensity of expression. In addition to their paintings, the exhibition also presents bronzes, ceramics, sculptures and furniture.
The museum is open daily from 10am until 6pm (until 9pm on Wednesdays) and entrance is €11.90 for adults (€9.90 for senior citizens) and children up to the age of 19 years are free. Online booking is also available.