Vienna seen from the Belvedere is undoubtedly the most iconic view of the Austrian capital. It became famous because of the painting by Bernardo Bellotto, called Canaletto, and has been dubbed the “Canaletto view” as a result. Current debates surrounding the planned construction of a high-rise building on Heumarkt have recently placed it in the spotlight once more.
The view of Vienna from the Upper Belvedere has helped define the city’s self-image since the time of Maria Theresa. This exhibition compares pictures of this view from various historical eras. Known as the “Canaletto view”, these scenes looking out from the palace are often not only accurate records of the city but also hold important political symbolism. They represent the development of Vienna under the Habsburgs and convey a sense of political and historical continuity.
Every generation of artists has interpreted this view differently. The motif therefore not only documents Vienna’s changing cityscape but also the constant shifts in artistic interests. The exhibition sheds light on this iconic motif from a neutral perspective, highlighting the history of art and architecture and thus placing the view in the context of history and urban planning.