This November, the Hong Kong Palace Museum will showcase more than 120 priceless treasures from the Liechtenstein Princely Collections

Within the 160 sq km principality of Liechtenstein, nestled in the Alps in the heart of Europe, sits one of the world’s largest and most important collections of art and decorative items. Consisting of more than 30,000 pieces, it has been lovingly assembled over a period of more than 400 years by the princes of Liechtenstein, and constitutes an unrivalled treasure trove of masterpieces. Now, art lovers in Hong Kong will have a chance to see some of the exquisite highlights of the collection for themselves, including paintings by masters Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, at the exhibition Odysseys of Art: Masterpieces Collected by the Princes of Liechtenstein.

On display at the Hong Kong Palace Museum, with LGT Private Banking as its principal sponsor, the exhibition represents the first time that elements of the Liechtenstein Princely Collections have been seen in this city. Across eight thematic sections, it will showcase more than 120 masterpieces, from paintings and prints, to tapestries, sculptures and decorative objects—including an impressive selection of Chinese ceramics. Among the undoubted highlights will be no fewer than 36 works by 17th-century Flemish masters Rubens and Van Dyck, two of the most revered painters of the Baroque era, making this the largest collection of their works ever shown in Hong Kong. They include Rubens’ Mars and Rhea Silvia (1617) and The Discovery of the Infant Erichthonius (1616), and Van Dyck’s Portrait of Maria de Tassis (1629-30).

'gallery right' 'gallery right'
'gallery right' 'gallery right'
Photo 1 of 6 Portrait of Maria de Tassis, Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, 1599–1641), About 1629–1630, Oil on canvas (Photo: Courtesy of Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections, Vaduz–Vienna)
Photo 2 of 6 Mars and Rhea Silvia, Peter Paul Rubens, about 1616-1617, oil on canvas (Photo: Courtesy of Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections, Vaduz–Vienna)
Photo 3 of 6 Dish with garden motif, Porcelain with underglaze blue (Jingdezhen, China, 1736–1795), gilded bronze mounts (Austria, about 1775–1785) attributed to Ignaz Joseph Würth (Austrian, 1742–1792) (Photo: Courtesy of Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections, Vaduz–Vienna)
Photo 4 of 6 Equestrian statuette of Marcus Aurelius, Antico (Italian, about 1455–1528), Early 16th century, Bronze, parcel-gilt, silver incrustations (Photo: Courtesy of Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections, Vaduz–Vienna)
Photo 5 of 6 The Chinese Pavilion at Lednice (Eisgrub), second state, Willibald Schulmeister (German, 1851–1909), 1877, Watercolour (Photo: Courtesy of Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections, Vaduz–Vienna)
Photo 6 of 6 The Liechtenstein City Palace (Photo: Courtesy of Liechtenstein, The Princely Collections, Vaduz–Vienna)

Like these pieces, the history of the Liechtenstein Princely Collections also stretches back to the 17th century, when Prince Karl I began collecting artwork in earnest. The tradition was carried on by his successors, such as Prince Johann Adam Andreas I, who bought many of the Rubens and Van Dyck pieces that will be on display in Hong Kong, and is continued to this day by Liechtenstein’s current head of state, Prince Hans-Adam II.

The exhibition also has a special significance for the Hong Kong Palace Museum: after its opening display, which focused exclusively on items loaned from the Palace Museum in Beijing, this will be the first major special exhibition it has staged. It is also the first time it has presented artwork from a great European collection alongside Chinese masterpieces, helping to fulfil its mission of reaching out to the world and furthering cultural exchange.

Odysseys of Art: Masterpieces Collected by the Princes of Liechtenstein will be on display at the Hong Kong Palace Museum from November 9 2022 to February 20 2023.

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