The Wien Museum owns a significant painting and graphics collection with around 130,000 objects. The time spectrum spans from 14th century frescoes to contemporary works, with particular emphasis on the 19th and early 20th centuries. The collection is especially rich in works from Biedermeier Period, Historicism, the period around 1900 and Early Expressionism.
Panel painting of the Middles Ages is represented, for example, by an altar panel set by the Master of the Wiener Neustädter Altar, and European Renaissance painting with “Kaiserlicher Waldspaziergang vor dem Schloss Neugebäude (“Imperial Stroll through Forest outside Schloss Neugebäude”, around 1590/93) by Lucas van Valkenborch. In the area of Austrian Baroque and Classicism, the collection contains exemplary works by key artists such as Paul Troger, Johann Michael Rottmayr or Heinrich Friedrich Füger.
With main works by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Peter Fendi and Friedrich von Amerling, the Wien Museum owns one of the most important collections of Viennese Biedermeier painting. In the graphic arts, the approximately 170 watercolours and drawings by Rudolf von Alt stand out. Historicism painting is represented among others by major works of Hans Makart; works by Emil Jakob Schindler and Tina Blau represent the landscape depiction of Austrian Stimmungsrealismus (literally, Atmospheric Realism) around the end of the 19th century.
Fin-de-siécle Art (“Vienna around 1900”), which was re-discovered internationally not least of all due to the 1985 Wien Museum Exhibition entitled “Traum und Wirklichkeit” (“Dream and Reality”), forms another focal point of the collection. Gustav Klimt’s portrait of Emilie Flöge (1902) as well as 400 of his hand-drawings belong to the highlights, as do significant works by Egon Schiele – including “Junge Mutter” (Young Mother”, 1914) which was acquired in 2007 –, Carl Moll, Richard Gerstl and Max Kurzweil. In the area of artistic printed graphics, there is an outstanding collection of Wiener Werkstätte postcards and posters from the Secession.
Among the most important works of the Inter-War Period are Oskar Kokoschka’s “Wien vom Wilhelminenberg” (“Vienna from the Wilhelminen Mountain”, 1931) and Herbert Boeckl’s “Anatomie” (“Anatomy”, 1931). One highlight from the area of post-1945 Art is Rudolf Hausner’s “Arche des Odysseus” (“The Ark of Ulysses”, 1948-1956), one of the main works of the Viennese School of Phantastischer Realismus (literally, Fantasy Realism). Examples of acquisitions in recent years are Xenia Hausner’s portrait of Elfriede Jelinek (“Oh Wildnis“ resp. “Oh Wilderness”, 1999) and Gerwald Rockenschaub‘s screen print on alucore, which shows St. Stephen’s Cathedral (1999).
The painting and graphics collection of the Wien Museum also houses large stocks of lesser known artists and so offers a broad overview of visual culture since the 14th century. The collection is continuously expanded with representative works of contemporary art.