A piece of art history in the heart of Dresden

 

I entered this shrine, and my amazement exceeded any preconceived idea”, wrote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1768 about his visit to the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister. In doing so, Goethe tried to put into words the grace of the historical gallery building and the importance of the collection for the understanding of art of his time. Little has changed since Goethe: The works of the Old Masters still shape the concept of art and culture to this day. Every year, the Dresden Gemäldegalerie counts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world who, in Goethe’s footsteps, relate to a piece of art history.

The history of Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

 

The world-famous collection houses the treasures from six centuries of European painting, which were collected in the Dresden Kunstkammer in just under half a century. August the Strong, Saxon Elector and later King of Poland, and his son August III. expanded the collection of German and Dutch masters with important works from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries from all over Europe. At the middle of the 18th century, the public was allowed to see the works of art of the old masters. The so-called Johanneum, which initially housed the exhibition, soon did not do justice to the steadily growing inventory. Almost 100 years later, the architect Gottfried Semper, who had already designed the Hofoper, now known as the “Semperoper”, built the imposing gallery building on the Zwinger.

© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (State Art Collections Dresden)

❞ The development of modernism is unthinkable without seeing the connection to the Old Masters. ❝

— Dr. Stephan Koja, Director of Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister and Skulpturensammlung (classical antiquity to 1800)

The work of the old masters

 

Probably the most famous work in the collection is the “Sistine Madonna” by the Italian artist Raffael. In addition to Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” in Paris or Sandro Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” in Florence, the painting from 1512/13 is one of the most influential works in art history. The focus of the altarpiece is the holy mother Mary with the baby Jesus in her arms, while two angels are depicted in the lower part. The childlike depiction of the pair of angels symbolizes the threshold to the earthly world and has ensured that the angels have become world-wide detached from the actual image content. Also of enormous importance is the painting “Dresden from the right bank of the Elbe below the Augustus Bridge”, which the Venetian painter Bernardo Bellotto created around 1748. Bellotto, nicknamed “Canaletto”, was under August III. came to Dresden as court painter. No painting shaped the idea of ​​baroque Dresden as strongly as the representation of the “Canaletto view”, which is still well known today.

© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (State Art Collections Dresden)

No painting shaped the idea of ​​baroque Dresden as strongly as the representation of the Canaletto view

© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (State Art Collections Dresden)

Reopening of the Sempergalerie

Historical picture gallery meets early modern sculptures

 

In the past seven years, part of the Sempergalerie had to remain closed due to extensive renovation work. On February 29, 2020, the collection will be reopened in full splendor. The works of the Gemäldegalerie will in future be presented together with the impressive Dresden sculpture collection in the Semper building of the Dresden Zwinger. The sculpture collection, which was housed in the exhibition depot for ten years, contains antique paintings, sculptures and sculptures from the early modern period, which are now shown in direct dialogue with selected Renaissance and Baroque paintings. In addition to modernizing the building, over 20 masterpieces have been carefully restored for the reopening. New colored wall coverings, extensive accent lighting as well as multimedia mediation formats make a visit to the new Sempergalerie a real pleasure.

More about Art

Fact Friday: A homage to star photographer Peter Lindbergh

Fact Friday: A homage to star photographer Peter Lindbergh

He was never concerned with staging a perfect image. Instead of putting a look in the foreground, Peter Lindbergh dealt with the human behind. He recognized emotions, moments and stories from the lives of the people standing in front of his camera. Now the star...

Modern art

Modern art

Is this art, or can we get rid of it? M o d e r n  A r t – The term surfaces with growing frequency and seems to be synonymous for everything that cannot be recognized at first glance. Abstract paintings, colorful graffiti, unshapely sculptures. Modern Art has long...

The Living House x Sha.

The Living House x Sha.

For many years a vacant building next to the magnificent Zwinger Palace and the luxurious Taschenbergpalais was the eyesore of the historic city center - right in the heart of Dresden. The thorough renovation of this allegedly "dead" terrain breathed new life into the...

All Impulse Categories

ArchitectureArtDesignHistoryHOLY TRINITYLight and ShadowLifestyleMinimalism

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This