The Albertina Museum’s collection of Netherlandish, Dutch and Flemish works ranks among the most comprehensive in the world. Systematically assembled by Prince Albert Casimir, Duke of Saxe-Teschen (1738–1822) and his wife, Archduchess Maria Christina (1742–1798) from 1776 on, it comprises graphic works from all major periods of artistic production in Northern Europe: early drawings from the circle of Jan van Eyck and later masterpieces by such artists as Anthony van Dyck or Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn provide an impressive overview of historical developments in Netherlandish art. Besides purchasing individual sheets by esteemed artists, the duke and his wife acquired entire estates, like those of Charles Antoine Prince de Ligne, Cornelis Ploos van Amstel, or Gottfried Winckler. Through the 1796 exchange of a large number of Albert’s prints for more than 500 drawings from the Imperial Court Library, works by outstanding draftsmen such as Hieronymus Bosch or Peter Paul Rubens entered the duke’s holdings. By the time of his death, his famed collection comprised about 14,000 drawings and 200,000 prints, many by major Northern masters such as Lucas van Leyden, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Hendrick Goltzius, and Hercules Segers. Still housed in Albert’s historic inner-city palace, the Albertina Museum today holds approximately 1.2 million works of art. An ambitious acquisition program, thematically focused presentations, and several ongoing research projects aim at preserving the institution as a lively and ever-growing organism, as well as a center for the exhibition and study of Northern art.
Laura Ritter, Curator for Netherlandish and French Art (June 2020)
Rembrandt and his time: masterworks from the Albertina, Vienna
Die Zeichnungen der niederländischen Schulen des XV. und XVI. Jahrhunderts