The Origins of the Albertina
100 Masterworks from the Collection
Edited by Klaus Albrecht Schröder. Text by Christoph Gnant, Maren Gröning, Christof Metzger, Eva Michel.
The Albertina in Vienna houses one of the world’s most famous collections of art. This extensive, sumptuously illustrated volume presents the museum’s masterpieces acquired from the founders of the collection, Albert, Duke of Saxe-Teschen, and his consort, the Grand Duchess Marie Christine. The history of the couple’s mercurial, fateful lives begins in the Baroque era at the court of Maria Theresa and moves through the years of revolution in America and Europe to the restoration of the conservative monarchies after the Vienna Congress. Their sojourns in Dresden, Rome, Paris, Brussels and Vienna--centers of European culture and politics, as well as hotbeds of social and intellectual innovations during the Enlightenment--are elucidated, and private insights into the feudal lifestyle of the European aristocracy are provided. Networks of collectors and art dealers are outlined, and the history of the ideas behind this princely collection of prints is explained.