CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Der fürst als Sammler: Neuerwerbungen unter Hans-Adam II. von und zu Liechtenstein

The prince as collector: new acquisitions under Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein Exhibition: 12 February - 24 August 2010

From the museum website, 3 February 2010

The princely collections

Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein possesses one of the world’s largest and most important art collections. Masterpieces of European art spanning five centuries, from the early Renaissance to the Baroque, form the nucleus of this private collection. The active acquisitions policy pursued by the ruling prince has led to more than 700 new objects being acquired for the collection’s holdings.

The acquisitions policy of the House of Liechtenstein

By the 17th century the Princes Karl Eusebius I and Johann Adam Andreas I von Liechtenstein had assembled a superb collection of Flemish painting, holdings which have been extended over the past few years with works by artists ranging from Quentin Massys to Peter Paul Rubens. Represented by the works of Old Masters of the major European schools from the 14th to the 18th century together with great artists of the Biedermeier era such as Friedrich von Amerling, painting still constitutes the core holdings of the Princely Collections. Many of the losses resulting from the sale of objects during the post-war period have been compensated for by new acquisitions made over the past few years; the collection of sculptures in particular has been considerably enhanced by a number of important acquisitions including major works by Andrea Mantegna, Jacopo Sansovino, Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi, Alessandro Algardi and the Austrian artists Georg Raphael Donner and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. The pietra dura collection started by Prince Karl I von Liechtenstein at the beginning of the 17th century has recently been rounded off with the Badminton Cabinet, the most important work to be created in the grand-ducal workshops in Florence, and other spectacular acquisitions such as the cabinet by Melchior Baumgartner, making this one of the most complete collections of its kind. In the field of furniture and porcelain wholly new accents have been placed with acquisitions of elegant Boulle and Roentgen furniture plus the best of Viennese Neoclassical and Biedermeier porcelain to have come onto the market in recent years. The same holds true for the collection of drawings and prints and the Historic Library, whose holdings have also been substantially extended.

The Ruling Prince

To mark the 65th birthday of H.S.H. Prince Hans-Adam II on 14 February 2010, around 140 masterpieces will be presented at the Liechtenstein Museum. Displayed in the temporary exhibition rooms of the museum, selected highlights from three main groups of sculpture, painting and furniture will provide an insight into the rich variety of objects collected by Prince Hans-Adam II in his endeavour to close the gaps in existing areas of the holdings and to further enhance the quality of the collection with major acquisitions. In addition, numerous recent acquisitions and works which have been bought back for the collection will be integrated into the permanent exhibition in keeping with the motto of this temporary exhibition. This will be the first time that many of these objects have been displayed to the public.

Afterwards a selection of objects from this exhibition will be shown in Vaduz at the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein from 24 September 2010 to 16 January 2011.