Thursday, August 16, 2012

DBSB '12: MI, Day 1: Alte Nationalgalerie

After the Altes and Neues Museums, Bee & I somehow still had an hour or so left in the day to run through the Alte Nationalgalerie before closing time. Unfortunately, when I say run, I mean literally, power walk through as much as possible before getting shuffled out by the security guards. This of course, does not mean that we weren't silly throughout the entirety of the museum visit.
Bee being a goof.
Anyhow, the Alte Nationalgalerie, or Old National Gallery, holds a collection of Romantic, Neoclassical, and Impressionist artwork, and was founded in 1861. Originally the building was named the Wagener and National Gallery after Johann Heinrich Wagener, a banker who donated 262 paintings, creating the basis of today's collection. It wasn't until 1876 that the collection obtained its own building, being previously housed in the buildings of the Academy of Art.

Dornröschen (Sleeping Beauty), Louis Sußmann-Hellborn

Upon entering the building, we were greeted with this beautiful sculpture at which point, both Bee and I stopped and gasped, "THIS IS HERE?" It was a pretty lovely moment, and one that continued on with many of the other sculptures.

Pan Comforting Psyche, Reinhold Begas

 The space within the museum was slightly confusing, in terms of general layout, but also very comforting. Each space was broken up into small rooms with only a few pieces in each and many benches on which visitors could sit and take in the artwork room by room.

 I know this painting depicts harpies, but seriously, what? It looks like something out of a macabre Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I half expect them to be luring sailors from their ships with songs of soup, soup, beautiful soup!

While the sculptures were absolutely stunning, and many of the paintings were lovely, if not technically amazing, what surprised me about the Alte Nationalgalerie was the small exhibition space dedicated to a series of paintings by Gerhard Richter. Obviously, these works break drastically with the overall theme encompassing the museum, but it was one I warmly welcomed. If anyone is interested, I strongly suggest looking him up as he is an interesting figure.

Both of these images seem to be the work of shoddy photography skills on my part, but this is how the paintings appear in real life. These "Photo Paintings" and blurred effects are very much so purposefully created, resulting in paintings which replicate the effect of a photograph, and also bring attention to the actual painter's skill and the presence of paint itself within a photographic-esque portrayal.

Until next time!


  1. Begas! It's like Bernini & Degas had a wonderful, wonderful child, and everything is lovely in the world because of it :]]]

    1. Hahahaha, that would be the strangest child. (Maybe someone should write a BerninixDegas fanfic? eh? eh?) I don't mind as long as it means more stunning sculpture in the world. :D