The Gemäldegalerie is part of Berlin’s Kulturforum (Culture Forum), a modern center for art and culture in Potsdamer Straße. It includes museums, concert halls, and libraries where I’ve spent time and learned so much!
The Kulturforum is West Berlin’s “most important building ensemble of the post-war period “.
“Masterpieces from all periods of art history, including paintings by van Eyck, Bruegel, Dürer, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer, are on display at the Gemäldegalerie.”
Kulturforum offers over a mile of breathtaking art displays in an exhibition area of over 75,00 sq. ft. There are seventy-two halls leading through “individual art landscapes and epochs”.
The Gemäldegalerie collection focuses on German and Italian painting from the 13th to the 16th century and Dutch painting from the 15th to the 16th century. This blog post includes some photos taken – captions are the best I could manage as all were in German. Before touring this exhibition, I didn’t know the works of many of these incredible masters.
German, Dutch, French, Flemish Masterpieces
The collection includes German paintings of the late Gothic and Renaissance periods. Dutch and Flemish paintings from the 17th century include “portraits, genre paintings, interiors, landscapes, and still lifes” – all very impressive and awe-inspiring.
A collection of 16 Rembrandt paintings in the center of the Gemäldegalerie is “one of the world’s largest and highest quality”.
There are six rooms of Italian, French, German, Spanish, and English 18th century paintings. Over 1000 masterpieces are on display in the main gallery. Visitors can view a catalog of the collection and access a digital gallery using computer workstations. Audio guides are available in German, English, and French. The audio guide was helpful, but with so many paintings – it was overwhelming. I need to return and take another tour.
Heinz Kuckei Collections
The Gemäldegalerie presents ten loans from the Heinz Kuckei Collections. The ensemble of quality 17th century Dutch paintings includes works by Jan Steen, Jan Davisz de Heem, and the Rembrandt workshop.
Jacopo and Giovanni Bellini Paintings
The Gemäldegalerie is focusing on a group of paintings by Italian Father and Son Jacopo and Giovanni Bellini. “In Renaissance Italy art was often a family business, and no family of painters was more successful than the Bellinis.”
Some of the Bellini paintings on display are restorations of pieces stored since World War II. During restoration, several of the works have “undergone various changes”. In some cases, they’re “fragments of a larger altarpiece or interior decoration, partially damaged and reduced on the surface”.
Restoration addressed light, climate, and influences occurring over time that changed the colorful and plastic appearance of the paintings. None of the paintings were able to “maintain a state as they were when leaving the artist’s workshop hundreds of years ago”.