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Gemaldegalerie: Berlin museum of pride

Posted on December 8, 2010 | Art MuseumsNo Comment



Recognized as the holder of one of the most important European art collections on the planet, Gemaldegalerie refers to an art gallery holding the objects of the 13th to 18th centuries. Nestled in Berlin’s Kulturforum, the museum is easily accessible from Potsdamer Platz. Gemaldegalerie includes collections that hold the art works by the famous artists like Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Dürer, Johannes Vermeer, Peter Paul Rubens, and Rembrandt. This museum is now almost 180 years old and was planned by the Munich architects namely, Christoph Sattler and Heinz Hilmer. Today, the edifice is the home of 72 rooms making the floor to extend up to 1.25 miles housing some 3,000 works in more than 50 halls. Downstairs, there are collections of many works, a digital gallery, and a big space of only frames. If you go upstairs, there are rooms flanking a middle hall of sculptures, which is not more than the size of the soccer field.


Speaking about the galleries in Gemaldegalerie, the primary ones are set in a shape of a horseshoe flanking a vast middle area called the ‘meditation hall’. This name is specifically given by the museum as this big area only holds some sculptures. If a school is on a picnic at this museum, this area is mostly thronged by the students who mostly gather to eat. For the tourists, the plus point is that less sculptures leaves ample space behind to easily navigate via the collection as compared to the other big galleries. Right from the entrance until the most distant room, the exhibition is systematically set in a chronological order and to enter any room at any time is no big deal as the way to reach any of them is straightforward due to the several doors leading one to the vast middle zone.

The moment you enter the museum, you only have to decide from where to start from. There are two options: from left housing mainly the Italian art or from right that is the venue of the Flemish as well as German art. No matter from where you start, the loop takes you forward and backward with regards to time while you marvel at the world’s one of the most stunning European collections. From the north of the museum holding mostly the pieces of the North European and then the British arts, the numbering system begins that aid you in visiting the galleries. If at all you are starting along the south side, you will first gaze at the Italian as well as south European art. The galleries on the main floor houses around 1200 pieces of works along with additional 400 in many rooms downstairs.


Galleries I to 4 on the main floor are dedicated to the German paintings that are from between 13th and 16th centuries. In the next rooms, you can see the works of the Dutch masters including Peter Bruegel’s The Netherlandish Proverbs. Gallery 10 is devoted to the Rembrandt, while the following ones show the Madonnas of Titian and Raphael.

The unique feature of Gemaldegalerie is that it approaches a scientific attitude in gathering as well as exhibiting art. Out of the total rooms here, each one is dedicated to 1 to 5 artists of a definite era or of a fixed style. Among all the collections here, the German one is regarded as the most superb as well as all-inclusive on this planet along with the Early Italian and Netherlandish collections that too are remarkably complete. On the other hand and comparatively, the French, Spanish, and British art works are quite smaller. The most noteworthy rooms are the room having five Madonnas from Raphael and the octagonal Rembrandt room. Also, look for the Vermeer’s two paintings namely, Woman with a Pearl Necklace and the Wine Glass.


Some more extraordinary collections are of the Flemish moralistic paintings that adorn the museum’s north side. These reveal the relationship of the religious intentions of the patrons of the artists and the artists’ physical motivation.

Guided tours are possible and the timings of the museum are from morning 10 to evening 6 from Tuesday to Sunday. On every Thursdays, the Gemaldegalerie is open until 10 pm.

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