It seemed a little sacrilegious to actually walk up the steps painted with Monet’s water lilies. There is a lift which provides wheelchair/disabled access as well should this be needed and an excellent cafe at street level.
When you get to the top of the steps you are greeted by this statue and a view over the streets around you.
We eventually found our way to what we had come to see — The Albertina – Permanent Collection — we coughed up our 11.9 Euro’s each and set off in search of today’s gold. The collection is shown in light airy rooms, all interconnected.
There were comfortable benches allowing people to sit each side, in the middle of each space. I liked the idea of being able to sit and look and then go and appreciate the brushstrokes and techniques close up. Almost all of the pieces were shown as is — without being behind glass or protective cases.
I went specifically to see this — Lily Pond — Monet:
At last I had seen it, but was blown away by its next door neighbor Venice, The Pink Cloud — Paul Signac — and the exquisite — Portrait of a Young Girl — Renoir opposite. The brushwork used for Venice, the Pink Cloud was spectacularly detailed using a technique I am familiar with as it is similar to one my mother used. To see it taken to its highest point was a special moment for many reasons.
I am going to go our on a limb here and say the works by Picasso left me cold, maybe I just do not “get” Picasso. we both loved this one — Schläferin mit Blumen — Marc Chagall.
There were of course “No photography” signs everywhere but everyone was clicking away merrily. A discrete discussion with one of the staff revealed that they turn a blind eye in most cases but they do not tolerate any flash photography. However this was not my day to be discrete — taking out my camera to take this shot it clattered on the floor — the poor member of staff supervising this room started to give me a stern look and then dived around the corner to stop me see him laughing!
I can recommend an afternoon here — or longer if you are interested in their archive material as well as the artworks on offer.
Our next destination and on our way home was the Rathaus — which, of course, is pronounced “Rat House” — otherwise known as the New City Hall. From now on all City Halls/Council chambers will be known as Rat Houses!
The reason for our visit was to investigate the offerings at the free film festival held there every evening in the open air and to possibly taste something from the much touted “Flavors of the World” food exhibition that runs alongside the Film Festival during the summer months and is set in the large gardens to the front of the Rathaus called Rathauspark.
The Rathaus is an immense building whose Gothic architecture demands immediate attention. It serves as the seat of the Mayor and Council of the City of Vienna as well as being the seat of the Governor and Assembly for the state of Vienna.
Another view showing the large screen for the Film Festival.
We had a couple of drinks and tried some wine — we left the food well alone as most of it was highly spicy and not suitable for my stomach. We decided to make our way back to the hotel — checking in at the station on the way to see if my card had been retrieved.