After decades of gathering dust in the vaults of Vaduz, Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein’s private collection of artwork, showcasing masterpieces from the 16th to the 19th centuries, was transferred back to Vienna and installed into the fabulously ornate Garden Palace, which had been the Princely Family’s summer home.
The Princely Collections are one of the most valuable and important private art collections on earth; highlights include the highly elaborate and inlaid 16th-century Badminton Cabinet – the most valuable piece of furniture in the world – plus Renaissance and Baroque works of art including no less than 30 paintings by Flemish artist Pieter Paul Rubens, plus pieces by Franz Hals, Anthony Van Dyck, Rembrandt and Raphael. The ornate carriage, gilded and adorned with painted side-panels of cherubim painted in the workshops of Boucher, was made by Parisian craftsman Nicholas Pineau in 1738, and is a rare survivor of the French Revolution.
The architecture of the Garden Palace is itself a highlight of a visit; opulently stucco-ed and frescoes apartments are frothily decorated by the Austrian Baroque master Johann Michael Rottmayr and complemented with sweeping marble staircases and ceilings paintings by Andrea Pozzo.
The Liechtensteinpark gardens that surround the palace started life with a formal Baroque layout in the 17th century before being given a facelift a hundred years later in the then-popular ‘natural’ English-landscape style. What you see today is a reworking of both styles completed in 2003 by Cordula Loidl-Reisch.
Both palaces are now only open by prior booking for guided tours or special events.