Habsburg Splendor at the High Museum
ATLANTA, Oct. 12, 2015 – A major American collaboration brings masterworks amassed by one of the longest-reigning European dynasties to the High Museum of Art. “Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections,” on view Oct. 18, 2015, through Jan. 17, 2016, showcases masterpieces and rare objects from the collection of the Habsburg Dynasty—the emperors of the Holy Roman Empireand other powerful rulers who commissioned extraordinary artworks now in the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. “Habsburg Splendor,” largely composed of works that have never traveled outside of Austria, was co-organized by the High, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
The exhibition explores the dramatic rise and fall of the Habsburgs’ global empire, from their political ascendance in the late Middle Ages to the height of their power in the 16th and 17th centuries, the expansion of the dynasty in the 18th and 19th centuriesto its decline in 1918 at the end of World War I. The more than 90 artworks and artifacts that tell the story include arms and armor, sculpture, Greek and Roman antiquities, court costumes, a carriage and sleigh, decorative art objects, and paintings by such masters as Correggio, Giorgione, Rubens, Tintoretto, Titianand Velázquez.
- – “The Crowning with Thorns” (c. 1602/1604) by Caravaggio
- – A portrait of Jane Seymour (1536), Queen of England and third wife to Henry VIII, by Hans Holbein the Younger
- – “Jupiter and Io”(c. 1530/32) by Correggio
- – Armor of Emperor Maximilian I (c. 1492) made by Lorenz Helmschmid
- – Bronze bust of Emperor Charles V (c. 1555) by Leone Leoni
- – A rock crystal goblet made for Emperor Frederick III (1400–1450)
- – An ivory tankard (1642) by Hans Jacob Bachmann
- – “Infanta Maria Teresa” (1652–53), a portrait of the daughter of Philip IV of Spain and eventual wife of Louis XIV of France, by Velázquez
- – An alchemical medal (1677), illustrated with portraits in relief of the Habsburgs, by Johann Permann
- – Campaign uniform of Franz Joseph (1907)
- – A velvet dress made for Empress Elisabeth (c. 1860/65)
- – An evening gown made for Princess Kinsky (c. 1905)
- – Ceremonial dress of Crown Prince Otto for the Hungarian Coronation (1916)
The exhibition is curated by Dr. Monica Kurzel-Runtscheiner, director of the Imperial Carriage Museum, Vienna. At the High, the consulting curator is Gary Radke, professor emeritus of art history at Syracuse University. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue published by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with essays by Dr. Monica Kurzel-Runtscheiner, director of the Imperial Carriage Museum, Vienna; Dr. Franz Pichorner, deputy director, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; and Dr. Stefan Krause, curator of arms and armor, Kunsthistorisches Museum.