Day 71, Monday, November 4, 2019
I visit the Belvedere Art Museum this morning while Bob goes for walk and explores the area around the museum. The Belvedere, like so many of the museums we have visited was once a palace. This is the grand entrance staircase… and the beautiful Marble Hall. I particularly wanted to see Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, but was pleased to find his Judith painting here as well.The Kiss is one of Klimt’s most well known paintings. It is a large painting, 183 x183 cm. It is nice to be able to see the painting details up close. I am also surprised by how many Egon Schiele paintings are on display. It is quite special to be able to see the original paintings of some of my favourite works by these two painters. I didn’t realize that these paintings were so large. Looking at reproductions in books can be deceiving. The Embrace and…. the Family are both much bigger than I imagined… as are these paintings. Schiele’s Self Portrait is the smallest painting, about 41 x 33 cm. I didn’t know Jacques-Louis David’s painting of Napoleon was here either. I am so glad I was able to visit this museum. This painting is enormous, 272 × 232 cm!This painting shows the Vienna Naschmarkt in 1894. It has changed a bit over the years! We meet up in the gardens outside the Belvedere and then walk towards St. Charles Church. There are so many interesting buildings along the way.
We had a huge surprise when we entered St. Charles Church. Two enormous floating mirrored balls that reflected the church… and us. We are almost in the centre of the reflection but we are very tiny. “Aerocene” is a contemporary art installation by Tomas Saraceno, an Argentinian artist who lives and works in Berlin. The floating reflective balls are 10 and 7 metres in diameter. Then we notice the scaffolding that goes high up into the dome, and that is where we are going to go! We thought the elevator ride we got a ticket for would be inside a bell tower. Nope! We ride to the top of this scaffolding and then climb a bit further, onto that platform you see leading into one of the round windows in the dome! Looking down from the top of this ‘elevator’ we notice a workman adjusting lights high up in the dome, yet still far below us! We have a great view of the dome paintings. It is interesting the way the gold highlights look up this close… and we have a great view of the other dome paintings. We are crazy high up!Bob walks back down to this viewing platform so I can get a photo. Notice how he is suspended…nothing below him!This photo shows the platform that Bob was standing on in the last photo.
We spent quite a lot of time way up there in the dome, and it is getting dark when we get outside. If you look closely you can see some people standing in the round window on the dome. That is the window we were standing in! What an amazing experience. There was restoration work carried out in the dome and the elevator is being kept for a while. The fee to ride up into the dome is a way to make more money for further restorations. Walking back towards the metro we pass the Opera House… and take photos of these performers from Tibet. They have a performance later tonight and were taking publicity photos outside the Opera House. While the men posed, some of the women were busy applying their makeup. This is a a huge paper art installation we pass in a walkway near the metro. A close-up shows lots and lots of writing, musical notations and random marks. We get home, have dinner, then I head off to a drop-in drawing session with a Meetup group at a pub called Monami.
It was bit hard drawing the model as there were 40 people crammed into a small room. I had coloured some of the pages in my sketchbook at home before the session. Interesting to draw on but they don’t photograph very well. We were pretty much rubbing elbows as we drew and my views weren’t always great but it was lots of fun.
I finished the session with a 20 minute leg study. I felt quite comfortable going out in the evening by myself. The metro is easy to navigate and there were lots of people about.