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Picture Gallery | Art Library | Museum of Applied Art | Museum of Prints and Drawings

Gemäldegalerie - Picture Gallery

The Picture Gallery possesses one of the world's finest collections of European art from the 13th to 18th century. After the collection was founded in 1830, it was systematically built up and perfected. The exhibition includes masterpieces by artists from every age of art history such as van Eyck, Bruegel, Dürer, Raphael, Tizian, Caravaggio, Rubens, Vermeer and Rembrandt.

The collection

This newly built museum is situated at the Kulturforum. It has about 7,000 square metres of exhibition space. A complete tour of the 72 rooms covers almost two kilometres.

Two of the major sections are formed by Italian painting from the 13th to 16th century and Netherlandish painting of the 15th and 16th century.

Old German painting of the Late Gothic and Renaissance eras is represented by such great masters as Konrad Witz, Albrecht Dürer, Baldung Grien, Cranach and Holbein.

The octagonal Rembrandt room enjoys a key position at the heart of the museum. The sixteen works by this artist form one of the largest and highest quality collections of Rembrandt paintings. They are flanked by additional gems of Dutch and Flemish painting of the 17th century. Portraits, genre paintings, interiors, landscapes and still-lifes illustrate certain artists' preferences for particular types of themes.

Italian, French, German and English painting of the 18th century is presented in six rooms. This splendid collection of paintings includes works by Canaletto, Watteau, Pesne and Gainsborough.

The main gallery contains one thousand masterpieces. These paintings are complemented by four hundred works in a study gallery on the lower floor.

Visitors also have access to a digital gallery with computerized information in German, English and French. Audio-tours are also available in German and English.

Art Library

The Art Library has approximately 350,000 volumes and ranks among Germany's leading institutions specializing in literature concerning the history of art. The library attracts 35,000 visitors annually.

The collection

The Art Library acquires and researches scientific literature on the history of European art from late antiquity to the present. It also subscribes to 1,300 current international periodicals. In addition, it collects drawings and prints in the area of applied arts and possesses a comprehensive collection of photographs.

The library offers visitors a broad range of impressive collections including: architectural and ornamental prints and drawings, the Lipperheide costume library, posters and advertisements, graphic design, book design, photographs. All items are available to visitors in the reading rooms.

Selections of works from the library's many collections are regularly presented in special exhibitions. The neighbouring Museum of Prints and Drawings concentrates primarily on fine art drawings and prints.

Museum of Applied Art

The Museum of Applied Art is the oldest of its kind in Germany. Despite great losses during the Second World War this museum still possesses one of the world's major collections of European applied art. The collection consists of two sections located at the Kulturforum and at Köpenick Palace which is currently being restored.

The collection

This museum collects works of skilled craftsmanship ranging from post-antiquity to the present. It encompasses all the styles and periods in art history and includes silks and costumes, tapestries, decorative wainscots and furniture, vessels made of glass, enamel and porcelain, works in silver and gold as well as contemporary crafts and design objects. Most of the materials involved are of great value. Many items were commissioned by representatives of the church, the royal court and members of the aristocracy.
A tour of the spacious building at the Kutlurforum takes visitors through 7,000 square metres of exhibition room revealing the historical development and great variety of applied arts and crafts from the Middle Ages through to Art Nouveau and up to the present day.

Treasures from medieval churches, including the famous Guelf Treasure (Welfenschatz) and the "Baptismal font of Emperor Barbarossa" illustrate the excellent skills of goldsmiths at that time, as does the representational silverware which once belonged to councillors of the wealthy town of Lüneburg.
On the ground floor the highly sophisticated lifestyle at the courts of Italian nobles during the Renaissance is highlighted with examples of bronzes, tapestries, furniture, Venetian glass and decorated glazed earthenware (majolica). The upper floor is reserved for the treasures from cabinets of curiosities and baroque art collections: faience work and glass from central European courts as well as the homes of patricians, Meissen and Berlin porcelain, sophisticated pieces of furniture, decorative tableware and accessories ranging from rococo and classicism to historicism and Art Nouveau.

The lower ground floor contains the so-called New Collection where arts and crafts of the twentieth century are complemented by examples of industrial products which are far more dominant in modern life than hand-made objects.

Museum of Prints and Drawings

The Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) possesses one of the largest collections of its kind. It is recognized as one of the world's finest collections of graphic art with 110,000 drawings and about 550,000 prints, including works by great artists ranging from Botticelli and Dürer to Picasso and Beuys.

The collection

The museum's collection embraces European (and more recent American) drawings and prints from the Middle Ages to the present. It also collects illuminated manuscripts (richly decorated, handwritten texts) from the early Middle Ages and the Renaissance as well as printed illustrated books.

The collection consists of the following sections: illustrated books and manuscripts, drawings and prints from the 14th to the 18th century of German, Dutch, Italian, French, English and Spanish schools as well as 19th and 20th century drawings and prints.

The drawings by early Italian, old German, old Netherlandish and 19 th century masters are of exceptionally high quality. The large selection of works by Botticelli, Dürer, Altdorfer, Grünewald, Bruegel the Elder, Rembrandt, Schinkel or Menzel is guaranteed to delight all art lovers.

Classic modern art represents an area of particular emphasis within the far-reaching collection. Works by numerous individual artists, such as Picasso, Beckmann and Giacometti, cover the whole spectrum of their creative lives.

Some sections of the collection are presented to the public in special exhibitions, but works are usually shown for short periods as graphic art is highly sensitive to light. Despite such restrictions visitors are welcome to order works of their particular choice and examine them at leisure in the study room.

The collection at the Kupferstichkabinett is complemented by many works in the neighbouring Art Library. The library also collects and exhibits prints and drawings primarily related to European applied art.

The data have been provided by Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH and Staatliche Museen Berlin.
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