The Leopold Collection is a pearl of fine art in Austria from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For Austrian culture, Rudolf Leopold is no less important than Pavel Tretyakov for Russian art.
The famous collector Rudolf Leopold was born in 1925 in the capital of the Austrian state, the beautiful city of Vienna. He studied at the medical faculty of the University of Vienna, and after graduation he began to engage in private practice.
His main distinguishing feature from Austrian doctors was that he had an irresistible interest in the history of fine art and was engaged in collecting his best works. The Viennese doctor was particularly interested in paintings of Austrian expressionism, and, in particular, in the work of the then famous artist Egon Schiele, who was known in narrow circles. Professional art historians of the middle of the last century didn’t particularly like his paintings and called Schiele “local talent”.
Everything changed in 1955. At that time, Leopold was selecting works for displaying contemporary Austrian art at the Stedelijk Museum, which is located in Amsterdam. Just at this exhibition event, the works of Egon Schiele were appreciated.
Then he began a whole series of exhibitions, and Rudolf Leopold continued to collect his collection, replenishing it with paintings by new artists. In 1990, the economic crisis began in Europe, and it was difficult for Leopold to cope with such a large collection alone.
In 1994, the famous collector decided to support the Austrian government and the National Bank. The Leopold Foundation was established, which was engaged in the maintenance and preservation of a magnificent collection of paintings in decent conditions. In 2001 under Leopold Museum allocated a special room in the center of the Museum Quarter, which was designed and built for this occasion. The owner of this priceless collection became the first director of the museum named after him.
Exposition of the Leopold Museum in Vienna
The exposition of the Leopold Museum consists of the most diverse paintings in the genre. Here you can see paintings by artists of the Austrian secession Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oscar Kokoschka.
Nearby are household culture samples from the states of Africa and Oceania. A little further you can see the works of masters from China and Japan. Passion for exotic is a defining characteristic feature of European countries in the late XIX - early XX centuries. This was helped by the World Exhibition, held in 1889 in Paris. On it, European connoisseurs of the beautiful could see works of art from Oceania and Southeast Asia.
After this exhibition, Paul Gauguin went to paint in Tahiti, expressionists from Germany Nolde and Pekhshtein traveled to the Ocean Islands, and Derain, Vlaminck and Matisse began to collect African figures.
The Leopold Museum has incorporated the best examples of oriental art, which successfully complement the European cultural part of the exhibition.