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Liechtenstein Masterpieces Arrive at Hong Kong Palace Museum

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Along with Chinese imperial treasures, you’ll soon get a glimpse of the priceless art of another royal family, as masterpieces collected by the princes of Liechtenstein arrive at the Hong Kong Palace Museum this month.

The Hong Kong Palace Museum opened in late summer and has already won high praise for the innovative and fresh perspective its curators have given to China’s imperial treasures. But that’s not all the museum has in store for us. Until February next year, it begins its first intercultural exchange, exhibiting the valuable art collections of the princely family of Liechtenstein.

Co-presented by the Hong Kong Palace Museum and the Princely collections of Liechtensteinand proudly sponsored by LGT Private Banking, Odysseys of art: masterpieces collected by the princes of Liechtenstein features over 120 works of art that have been painstakingly collected and cared for by the princely family for hundreds of years. Still keen collectors to this day, the family have long been delighted to share their extensive art collection with the public, having transformed one of their own palaces into a gallery worthy of the works of great masters such as Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt and Van Dyck.

Mars and Rhea Silvia (1616-1617), Peter Paul Rubens

Gallery 8 at Hong Kong Palace Museum is dedicated to the special exhibition, which presents paintings, prints, tapestries, sculptures and decorative art objects selected from over 30,000 works from the collections of the Princes von und zu Liechtenstein, dating from the 16th century. Focusing on their collecting habits over time, the exhibit traces the evolution of the family’s taste and sophisticated eye for art. As early as the 17th century, we can see how the first princes of Liechtenstein, Karl I and his son Karl Esebius I, created landmarks with the acquisition of the works of Adrian de Fries and the first paintings of Peter Paul Rubens. Later, during the time of Prince Karl I’s grandson, Prince Johann Adam Andreas I, we see the rise of the works of artist Anthony van Dyck.

At the turn of the 17th century, the family devoted itself to matters of art and architecture, which is illustrated in the theoretical treatises composed by Prince Karl Eusebius I, as well as in selected correspondence between Prince Johann Adam Andreas I and his favorite artists. Later, in the mid-18th century, French and Italian art entered the scene, with Prince Joseph Wenzel I amassing one of the most important collections of Venetian veduta painting of the time.

Earth (1570), Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Gardens, another favorite pastime of the Liechtenstein family, also have their own chapter in the exhibition. Chinese motifs and elements have long played an important role in the history of European art, which is reflected in the Chinese temple at the Eisgrub Estate.

The last chapter of the exhibition is devoted to the new acquisitions of the current reigning Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein, as well as the process of reconstituting the collection following the sale of works of art during the Second World War and subsequent expropriations by then communist Czechoslovakia.

Chest with the coat of arms of Prince Karl I von Liechtenstein

If you’re curious why a small European principality has a connection to Chinese treasures, museum director Dr. Louis Ng explained earlier that Liechtenstein was created almost at the same time as the Forbidden City, under the Ming dynasty. From the perspective of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, it was worth exploring the similarities between two ruling families who shared over 400 years of art collection.

And from the perspective of main sponsor LGT Private Banking, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year and opened a branch here in 1986, Hong Kong has long been important to the princely family of Liechtenstein. A leading international private banking and asset management group, with more than 20 locations worldwide, LGT is 100% owned by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein and has been the family office of the Princely House of Liechtenstein for more than nine decades.

Learn more about Art Odysseys: Masterpieces Collected by the Princes of Liechtenstein exhibition, which runs from November 9, 2022 to February 20, 2023 here