For news of any major exhibitions
being held at the Gemaldegalerie
SMPK Berlin, see:
Art News Headlines.
The collection first began in 1830, the core works coming from Frederick
The Great (1717-86), King of Prussia. It was initially housed in the Royal
Museum, now the Altes Museum in Berlin. Its first major expansion occurred
under gallery director, Gustav Friedrich Waagen, who began to systemically
expand the collection between the years 1890 and 1929. His connoisseurship
and connections led to many important acquisitions. The collection covers
almost all important art movements,
including the Proto-Renaissance
(c.1300-1400), the Early
Renaissance (c.1400-1490), the High
Renaissance (c.1490-1530), the Northern
Renaissance (c.1400-1580), Mannerism
(c.1530-1600), and the Baroque
era (c.1600-1700). Eighteenth century Rococo
and its serious successor Neo-classical
art is also represented.
In 1904 the collection was moved to the
newly constructed Kaiser Friedrich Museum (later renamed the Bode Museum).
During the Second World War the museum was badly damaged and over 400
large-scale works were tragically destroyed. After the War, the division
of Berlin was reflected in the division of the collection. It was split
into two different exhibition centers, the Berlin-Dahlem and the Bode
Museum. It would be another 50 years before the collection was reunited
again. In 1997, with great publicity, the collection was placed in its
present location at the Gemaldegalerie in Kulturforum near Potsdamer Platz.
Kulturform is a small district of Berlin where a collection of cultural
institutions are situated together. The Gemaldegalerie was built in this
area near the Berlin State Library, Philharmonie Hall, Museum of Decorative
Arts and Neue Nationalgalerie.
The Permanent Collection
The gallery owns over 3,600 paintings on canvas, wood, stone and copper.
The German collection of art is one of the best in the world, rivaled
only by that in Munich and Vienna. On display are works from the Late
Gothic and the German
Renaissance by Masters such as Konrad Witz (c.1400-46); painter, printmaker
and engraver Albrecht Durer
(1471-1528); painter and woodcut printmaker Hans
Baldung Grien (c.1484-1545); the portraitist and figurative artist
Lucas Cranach the
Elder (1472-1553); and the Northern Renaissance portrait painter Hans
Holbein the Younger (1497-1543). There is a large collection of Italian
and early Flemish painting
while the French, Spanish and English collection is smaller, but still
Paintings of particular note include:
a Pearl Necklace (1662-64) by Jan
One of Vermeer's "pearl pictures", it is related to several
other works like Woman Holding a Balance (1662-63) and Woman
Writing a Letter (c.1665-66), both in the National Gallery of Art,
The Fountain of Youth (1546) by Lucas Cranach the Elder
This renowned oil on panel tells the legend of the spring of eternal.
The Glass Of Wine (1661/62) by Jan Vermeer
This work is a typical genre painting in the style of the Delft School.
Amor Victorious (1602-03) by Caravaggio
This oil painting from the early Italian Baroque period shows Eros the
Cupid half sitting on items of human endeavors, including a lute, music
sheets, pen and manuscript and an astral globe. Caravaggio tended not
to idealize his figures, and his Cupid is no exception. With the use of
dramatic chiaroscuro Caravaggio paints with almost photographic
precision, and the young boy is depicted with a crooked grin and irregular
teeth. The model may very well have been a street urchin. The pose he
chose for his Cupid resembles that of Michelangelo's 'Victory' in the
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.
The Merchant Georg Gisze (1532) by Hans Holbein
Holbein painted this large portrait on a trip to England in the hope of
using it as a virtuoso showpiece to gain more commissions. On first inspection
the painting appears highly realistic, but if you look more closely you
will see some optical paradoxes. For example the walls do not adjoin at
a right angle and certain objects on the table are not painted flat on
the surface. Accordingly the artist may have been suggesting that the
solid world of merchant Gisze was not as stable as it may first appear.
- Oaks at a Lake with Water Lilies (c.1665) by Jacob
Van Ruisdael (1628-82).
- Adam and Eve in Paradise (The Fall, 1526) by Lucas Cranach the
- Portrait of a Young Venetian Lady (1505) by Albrecht Durer.
- The Adoration in the Forest (1459) by Fra Filippo Lippi (c.140669).
- The Entombment of Mary (1310) by Giotto
- The Presentation (c.1465) by Andrea
- Self Portrait with Velvet Beret (1643) by Rembrandt (1606-69).
- Moses with the Ten Commandments (1659) by Rembrandt.
- The Divine Eros Defeats Earthly Eros (1602) by Giovanni Baglione.
- Lady Sunderland (1723) by Sir Joshua
Reynolds (172392), UK portraitist.
Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz
+49 (30) 266-2951
Tuesday & Wednesday: 10am to 6pm
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 10am to 6pm
Thursday: 10am to 10pm