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National Gallery

Old National Gallery | Friedrichswerder Church | New National Gallery | Museum for the Present | The Berggruen Collection

Old National Gallery

The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) owns one of the largest collections of 19th century sculptures and paintings in Germany.

The collection

Nineteenth century art is represented by the works of German artists who lived for a year or even decades in Rome (Nazarener): Peter Cornelius, Friedrich Overbeck, Philipp Schadow and Wilhelm Veit were commissioned to paint frescoes on the story of Joseph for the "Casa Bartholdy" in Rome. The collection also contains a significant body of works by Adolph Menzel including famous paintings such as "The Balcony Room" and "The Iron Rolling Mill".
There are also numerous Impressionist paintings of very high quality. Early acquisitions included masterpieces by Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne and sculptures by Auguste Rodin.

German paintings of the second half of the nineteenth century are represented by artists such as Hans Thoma, Anselm Feuerbach, Arnold Böcklin, Hans von Marées, Wilhelm Leibl and Wilhelm Trübner. The Alte Nationgalerie also owns a considerable number of works by Max Liebermann and Lovis Corinth.
Nineteenth century sculptures are currently on show in the Altes Museum. They include the famous marble sculpture of the two Prussian princesses by Johann Gottfried Schadow and works by Berthel Thorwaldsen, Ridolfo Schadow, Reinhold Begas and Adolf von Hildebrand. Sculptures of the Schinkel era are on exhibition in the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche (Friedrichswerder Church).

Nationalgalerie - Friedrichswerder Church

Early 19th century sculptures are on show in the Friedrichswerder Church in Berlin-Mitte.

The collection

The exhibition offers a survey of classicist and romantic sculpting with works by Johann Gottfried Schadow, Christian Friedrich Tieck, Emil Wolff, Theodor Kalide, Ridolfo Schadow andChristian Daniel Rauch.
At the centre of the exhibition is the original plaster model for Johann Gottfried Schadow's marble sculpture of the Prussian princesses. It is surrounded by portraits dating from the time of Goethe and created by Christian Daniel Rauch and his contemporaries.

The plaster model of the two princesses was shown at the academy exhibition in 1795. Critics greeted it with great enthusiasm and praised the "Greek style". As a result Schadow was commissioned to execute his sculpture in marble which is now regarded as an icon of European classicism. The marble sculpture, an exact copy of the original plaster model, is now part of the collection belonging to the Alte Nationalgalerie and is currently on show at the Altes Museum.

In the gallery of the church the Nationalgalerie has prepared a documentary exhibition on the life and work of Karl Friedrich Schinkel. It also focuses on the church itself which was designed by Schinkel and is recognized as a major example of German Neo-Gothic style construction.

New National Gallery

The New National Gallery, the "temple of light and glass" is the home of 20th century European painting and sculpture ranging from classic modern art to art of the 1960s. The collection includes works by Munch, Kirchner, Picasso, Klee, Feininger, Dix and Kokoschka.

The collection

Highlights in the collection concentrate on works by representatives of cubism, expressionism, the Bauhaus and surrealism.
Works by Picasso, Gris and Leger illustrate the development of cubist art. Cubism and in particular the works of Picasso are complemented by the Berggruen Collection opposite Charlottenburg Palace.
Expressionism is represented by the group "Die Brücke" with significant works by Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff and Heckel. Kirchner's "Potsdamer Platz", painted in 1914, now stands in fascinating contrast to the current changes taking place on its original site a few metres away from the gallery. Against that famous background Kirchner painted his scene of Berlin nightlife shortly after the beginning of the First World War.

Among the collection's major works are eleven paintings by Max Beckmann dating from 1908 to 1942. They offer a good insight into the development of his life's work.
Surrealist painting is represented by artists such as Ernst, Dali and Miró.
Paintings by Otto Dix and George Grosz document the movements of Verism and Neue Sachlichkeit (new objectivity). The Bauhaus is illustrated with works by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky who were both teachers at the school.
The building has almost 5,000 square metres of exhibition space and about 800 metres of wall space, a surprisingly large capacity concealed beneath the famous steel and glass construction.
The spacious glass hall at ground level and sections of the lower- ground floor are used for special exhibitions attracting 100,000 visitors each year. The permanent exhibition is on show in the lower part of the gallery.
For those who enjoy sculptures there are a number of works immediately surrounding the gallery as well as in the western sculpture garden. Visitors gain access to the garden on request. Here, a variety of important works ranging from figurative to abstract representation can be viewed in particularly pleasant and relaxed surroundings.

Hamburger Bahnhof: Museum for the Present

Berlin's Museum for the Present opened in the former railway station, Hamburger Bahnhof, in November 1996. This gave the Nationalgalerie not only the first permanent home for its collection of contemporary art but also a venue for innovative exhibitions and events.

The collection

The exhibition area of about 8,000 square metres is dedicated to art from the second half of the 20th century onwards. The collection contains works from Berlin's State Museums as well as very many items belonging to the private Berlin collector, Erich Marx. At the core of the Marx collection are works by such internationally renowned artists as Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Anselm Kiefer and Joseph Beuys. The collection also includes over 450 drawings by Joseph Beuys "The secret block for a secret person in Ireland", and about sixty by Andy Warhol. Also on show are representatives of Minimal Art and the Provera.

The "Berlin Circle" by the English artist Richard Long and a work by Günther Uecker were directly inspired by the Hamburger Bahnhof. The whole of the ground floor in the western wing is devoted to works by Joseph Beuys. They include well-known installations such as "The End of the 20th Century" 1982/83, "Unschlitt/Tallow" 1977, and "Richtkräfte" (Directional forces) 1974-77 created from one hundred wooden blackboards.

A historical presentation of the works was consciously avoided in favour of an open presentation concept which embraces all the media used by the various artists. The building consists of a traditionally high, historical hall resembling a railway hall and modern extensions with clear geometrical lines and glass roofs. Together they provide both an ideal setting for contemporary art and stimulating surroundings for an interesting variety of events.

The Berggruen Collection "Picasso and his Time"

The Berggruen Collection - Picasso and his Time presents exceptional works of classic modern art. Included among the artists are Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Klee, Laurens and Giacometti.

The collection

The Berggruen Collection is situated in the Western Stüler Building, opposite Charlottenburg Palace. Oil paintings, sculptures and various works on paper are on show on three floors under the title "Picasso and his Time". More than eighty works by Picasso form the heart of the collection. The many facets of his life's-work are represented from his student days to his late years including his blue and pink period, cubism and classicism. His later works not only abound in cheerful sensuousness, they also represent his many variations in style.
The collection also focuses on works by Paul Klee. These small, delicate compositions reflect the poetic world of the artist from 1917 to 1940.

These two artists are surrounded by their predecessors and sources of inspiration: Cézanne, Van Gogh and examples of African art, as well as their great contemporaries Matisse, Braque, Giacometti and Laurens.
A special feature of this collection is that it is continuously increasing. Since it was opened to the public in 1996, various works have been continuously acquired. One of the most significant ones is a work by Picasso, the large-size "Reclining Nude" painted in 1942. In 2000 the contract about the acquirement of the collection by the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz was signed.

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