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The Kunsthistorisches Museum (lit. "Museum of "Art History", also often referred to as the "Museum of Fine Arts") is an "art museum in "Vienna, "Austria. Housed in its festive palatial building on "Ringstraße, it is crowned with an octagonal "dome. The term Kunsthistorisches Museum applies to both the institution and the main building. It is the "largest "art museum in the country.
It was opened around 1891 at the same time as the "Natural History Museum, Vienna, by Emperor "Franz Joseph I of "Austria-Hungary. The two museums have similar exteriors and face each other across "Maria-Theresien-Platz. Both buildings were built between 1871 and 1891 according to plans drawn up by "Gottfried Semper and "Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer.
The two Ringstraße museums were commissioned by the emperor in order to find a suitable shelter for the "Habsburgs' formidable art collection and to make it accessible to the general public. The "façade was built of "sandstone. The building is rectangular in shape, and topped with a dome that is 60 meters high. The inside of the building is lavishly decorated with marble, "stucco ornamentations, gold-leaf, and paintings.
The museum's primary collections are those of the "Habsburgs, particularly from the "portrait and "armour collections of "Ferdinand of Tirol, the collections of Emperor "Rudolph II (the largest part of which is, however, scattered), and the collection of paintings of "Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, of which his Italian paintings were first documented in the "Theatrum Pictorium.
Notable works in the picture gallery include:
The collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum:
Also affiliated are the:
One of the museum's most important objects, the "Cellini Salt Cellar sculpture by "Benvenuto Cellini, was stolen on May 11, 2003 and recovered on January 21, 2006, in a box buried in a forest near the town of "Zwettl, Austria. It was featured in an episode of "Museum Secrets on the "History Channel. It had been the biggest "art theft in Austrian history.
The museum is the subject of Johannes Holzhausen's documentary film The Great Museum (2014), filmed over two years in the run up to the re-opening of the newly renovated and expanded Kunstkammer rooms in 2013.
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