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The Gemäldegalerie or Picture Gallery has presented to the public masterpieces of older Western painting in its newly erected building at Kulturforum since 1998. The competition for the Gemäldegalerie's new building, held in 1986, went to architects Hilmer and Sattler. With Prussian exactness, the building's minimal design rises above the tapering piazetta below, while inside its various rooms are grouped around a bright, well-lit lobby. A study gallery was added to the Gemäldegalerie after the sweeping events of 1989 and 1990 that also led to the reunification of the various collections belonging to the National Museums in Berlin a year later in 1991.
In its architectural reserve, the building's minimal outer design is reminiscent of Schinkel's Altes Museum, while inside, the collection rooms bear similar classical proportions. From the large central lobby, itself a place of peace and contemplation with the water fountain and sculpture by Walter de Maria, visitors can delve back into the individual exhibition rooms and recontinue their tour through the collection. The consequential use of daylight illumination throughout sets a benchmark for other major art galleries. With its many famous masterpieces, the building now ranks once again as one of the major European galleries and offers a comprehensive overview of European painting from the 13th to the 18th century.
The newly built museum building is situated at Kulturforum and covers an area of around 7,000 square metres of exhibition space. A complete tour through all 72 rooms covers a distance of 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 occupies a key position at the heart of the museum. The sixteen works by this artist form one of the largest and most exquisite collections of Rembrandt paintings. They are flanked by additional gems of Dutch and Flemish painting from 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 1000 masterpieces. These paintings are complemented by 400 works in a study gallery on the lower floor.
Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, engraver, printmaker, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His high-quality woodcuts ... read more
Andrea Mantegna was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son in law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, ... read more
Diego Vélazquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV and one of the most important painters ... read more
Fra' Filippo Lippi, was an Italian painter of the Italian Quattrocento. He was born in Florence. In 1420 he was admitted to the ... read more
François Boucher was a French painter, a proponent of Rococo taste, known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, ... read more
Georges de La Tour was a French Baroque painter, who spent most of his working life in the Duchy of Lorraine, which was temporarily ... read more
Hans Holbein the Younger was a German artist and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He is best known as one of the ... read more
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter active in Bruges and is generally considered one of the most significant Northern European painters ... read more
Jean-Antoine Watteau was a French painter whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement (in the tradition of ... read more
Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately ... read more
Sir Joshua Reynolds was an influential eighteenth-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in ... read more
Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish Baroque painter. He is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, ... read more
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ... read more
Rembrandt was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and ... read more
Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine school under the patronage of Lorenzo ... read more
Thomas Gainsborough was an English portrait and landscape painter. He was the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and, in 1740, ... read more
Tiziano Vecellio was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. During his lifetime he was often ... read more