27 February 2012

Vienna, Austria - Day 6

Our plans to walk around Vienna have been averted as it was raining today.  With a change of plans we found the Museum of Applied Arts.  An incredibly stunning interior in Florentine Renaissance style the museum was founded in 1864  for the purpose of applied arts.  Each room was designed by different artists to complement the items on display.

The permanent collections consist of furniture, textiles, glass, pottery, porcelain, metalwork and jewelry.

Surprising exhibits were the fans and gloves displays, oriental rugs, lace works and early 20th century colored glasswares.

Bohemian beaker (c1830)

Circular fan with blue and gold wheel
Florence, Italy (c14th/15th century)

Viennese porcelain in the Ceramics Exhibition Hall

Medallion Ushak Carpet, Turkey (c1600)

Cravat, Brussels (18th century)

The largest gallery room was dedicated to a presentation on architecture.  However not architecture that is unique and maintained beautifully as you might expect, but rather the opposite.  It presented innovative, unique and significant architecture that had been allowed to deteriorate, become abandoned or reduced to being used as slums after the allure of the beauty wore off.  Unfortunately photographing was prohibited and it is difficult to illustrate the exhibition in this blog.

Furniture and decorative items were in various period styles such as baroque, rococo, romanesque, gothic, renaissance and art deco/nouveau.

Walnut tabernacle cabinet with maple
engraved marquetry (c1745)

Seating Furniture Exhibition Hall
Debating the functionality of a seat vs it's place in history
as an object that is most intimately related to the
human body.  Don't ask, I didn't get it.

Whilst not in our plans to visit this museum it was worth the four hours we spent there.

With an hour to spare before closing time, we returned to the Hofburg Complex to visit the Treasury which houses a collection of secular and sacred  items.  Here we feasted on coronation robes and jewels, imperial crowns, Napoleon's son's cradle, the world's largest cut emerald and Habsburg's ecclesiastical collection revealing their piety and love of art.

Private crown of Emperor Rudolph II (c1602)

Cradle of the King of Rome,
Napoleon's son (c1811)

Emerald unction vessel (c1661)
Genuine emerald 2680 carat (this is not a typo)

Princess Trinity

Again, not a visit necessarily on our list, we were once again pleasantly surprised by the museum's holdings and the visit was well worth it.

We finished the day at our favorite Cafe Schwarzenberg, dining on potato soup deep with beef flavor, schnitzel and cakes.  The Nuus Torte was a delightful walnut and nougat cream filled sponge cake, whilst Trini indulged in her usual raspberry topped, vanilla sponge cake.

With more rain forecast for tomorrow we are now getting creative about what we are seeing.  It will be a surprise even for us.