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Dresden, Gemäldegalerie

Mucius Scaevola before Porsena, Hans Baldung Grien

Table with fish , Abraham Hendriksz. van Beyeren

The Lute Player, Gerard ter Borch the Younger

Paintings on the life of St. Zenobius of Florence, Sandro Botticelli

Farmers scuffle at cards, Adriaen Brouwer

Farmers scuffle at dice, Adriaen Brouwer

View of Dresden , the Neumarkt, Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden , the Neumarkt , Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden , The Old Market Square, Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden , the fortress plants in Dresden, Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden , the Neumarkt, Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden , the Neumarkt , Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden , the fortress plants in Dresden, Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden , the Frauenkirche, Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden , the ruins of the Cross Church, Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden from the left bank of the Elbe, Canaletto (I)

View of Dresden , Zwinger in Dresden, Canaletto (I)

Opportunity and patience, Girolamo da Carpi

The Adoration of the Magi, Joos van Cleve

The (large) Adoration of the Magi, Joos van Cleve

Mary in the Temple, Cima da Conegliano

Adoration of the Shepherds ( The Night ), Correggio

Portrait of the Elector Augustus I of Saxony, Lucas Cranach the younger

Portrait of Heinrich dsr Pious of Saxony, Lucas Cranach the Elder

Portrait of the Duchess Katharina von Mecklenburg, Lucas Cranach the Elder

Nativity ( Holy Night , Christmas ), Lucas Cranach the Elder

The Confirmation (The Seven Sacraments), Giuseppe Maria Crespi

The Last Rites, Giuseppe Maria Crespi

St Cecilia at the Organ, Carlo Dolci

Portrait of a young man, Albrecht Dürer

The Seven Sorrows of Mary : Circumcision of Christ, Albrecht Dürer

The Seven Sorrows of Mary : Christ on the Cross, Albrecht Dürer

The Seven Sorrows of Mary : The Twelve- Year-Old Jesus in the Temple, Albrecht Dürer

The Seven Sorrows of Mary : Lamentation of Christ, Albrecht Dürer

The Seven Sorrows of Mary : Flight to Egypt, Albrecht Dürer

The Seven Sorrows of Mary : Cross Nailing, Albrecht Dürer

The Seven Sorrows of Mary : Cross, Albrecht Dürer

Drunken Silenus, Anthony van Dyck

Portrait of armed man with red armbands, Anthony van Dyck

Portrait of Marie Clarisse and her child, Anthony van Dyck

Portrait of a lady dressed in black, Anthony van Dyck

Parable of the Lost Drachma, Domenico Fetti

Parable of the Lost Drachma, Domenico Fetti

Portrait of a Scholar, Domenico Fetti

Baptism of Christ, Francesco Francia

The Great Enclosure (Ostra-Enclosure), Caspar David Friedrich

Two Women of Tahiti, Paul Gauguin

Slumbering Venus, Giorgione

Christ Healing the Blind, El Greco

The Ecstasy of St. Francis , Giovanni Francesco Guercino

Portrait of a Man, Frans Hals

Large Still Life with Bird's Nest, Jan Davidsz de Heem

The Rape of Proserpina, Joseph Heintz the Elder

Portrait of Thomas Godsalve with his son John, Hans Holbein the Younger

Portrait of Charles de Solier , Hans Holbein the Younger

Diana and Actaeon, Jacob Jordaens

Portrait of a Woman Dressed as Vestal Virgin, Angelika Kauffmann

Ariadne Abandoned by Theseus on Naxos, Angelika Kauffmann

Beech grove, Gustav Klimt

The Upland near Bern, Joseph Anton Koch

The Hermit, Salomon Koninck

Head of a peasant girl, Wilhelm Maria Hubertus Leibl

The Holy Family, Lorenzo di Credi

Madonna with the Christ Child and St John the Baptist, Lorenzo di Credi

Acis and Galatea, Claude Lorrain

The Holy Night (The Nativity), Carlo Maratta

Self-portrait in red coat, Anton Raphael Mengs

Afternoon in the Tuileries Gardens, Adolf Friedrich Erdmann von Menzel

Poultry seller, Gabriel Metsu

Holy Rodriguez, Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo

An Old Man, Bartolomeo Nazari

An Old Woman, Bartolomeo Nazari

Jacob and Rachel, Palma Vecchio

Narcissus and Echo, Nicolas Poussin

Sistine Madonna, Raphael

St. Agnes in prison, José de Ribera

Sacrifices for the goddess Vesta, Sebastiano Ricci

Sacrifice to the God Selenus, Sebastiano Ricci

Bathsheba at the Fountain, Peter Paul Rubens

Boar hunt, Peter Paul Rubens

Sacrifice of Isaac, Andrea del Sarto

Gamba player, Bernardo Strozzi

Women playing instruments, Jacopo Tintoretto

Rescue of Arsinoe, Jacopo Tintoretto

Double portrait of two men, Jacopo Tintoretto

Portrait of a painter with a palm tree, Titian

Portrait of a Lady in White, Titian

Portrait of an old gentleman , detail, Diego Velázquez

Portrait of Juan Mateos, Diego Velázquez

The Procuress, Jan Vermeer van Delft

Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window, Jan Vermeer van Delft

Wedding at Cana, Paolo Veronese

Folksy outdoor entertainment, Antoine Watteau

King Augustus III of Poland, Pietro Rotari

Queen Maria Josepha, Wife of King Augustus III of Poland, Pietro Rotari

Prayer on the Mount of Olives and Mocking of Christ, Ercole de' Roberti

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Famous Artists - The Sistine Madonna by Raphael

The Sistine Madonna

The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (English: Old Masters Gallery or Old Masters Picture Gallery) in Dresden, Germany, displays around 750 paintings from the 15th to the 18th centuries. It includes major Italian Renaissance works as well as Dutch and Flemish paintings. Outstanding works by German, French and Spanish painters of the period are also among the gallery's attractions.

The Old Masters are part of the Dresden State Art Collections. The collection is located in the Semper Gallery, the gallery wing of the Zwinger.

Interior view of the Royal Painting Collection around 1830
The Semper Gallery that houses the Gemäldegalerie seen from the Zwinger courtyard

When the Kunstkammer (Art Chamber) of the Electors of Saxony in Dresden was founded by Augustus, Elector of Saxony in 1560, paintings were subordinate to collectors' pieces from science, other art works and curiosities.[1] It was not until the beginning of the 18th century that Augustus II the Strong and his son Frederick Augustus II started to collect paintings systematically. Over a period of less than 60 years, these two art-loving Electors of Saxony, who were also Kings of Poland, expanded the collections significantly. In 1745, the 100 best pieces of the collection belonging to the Duke of Modena (Francesco III) were purchased, arriving in Dresden the following year.[1]

As the fast-growing painting collection soon required more space for storage and presentation, it was moved from Dresden Castle to the adjacent Stallgebäude (the Electors’ Stables Building) in 1747.[2]

In the meantime the collection had achieved European fame. Paintings from all over Europe, especially from Italy, Paris, Amsterdam and Prague, were acquired and sent to Dresden. The purchasing activities of the Electors were crowned by the acquisition of Raphael’s Sistine Madonna in 1754.[1]

In 1838, the architect Gottfried Semper was invited by a gallery commission working for King Frederick Augustus II, to design an appropriate architectural setting for the collection. The new gallery wing of the Zwinger was consequently built from 1847 to 1854. On 25 September 1855, the Neues Königliches Museum (New Royal Museum) opened in the Semper Gallery where it is still located today.[2]

Due to shortage of space, the Modern Department of the museum with paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries moved into a separate building on Brühl's Terrace, laying the foundations for what is now known as the New Masters Gallery.

When World War II was imminent in 1938, the museum was closed. The artworks were mostly safely stored away when the gallery building itself was severely damaged in the bombing of Dresden on 13 February 1945. At the end of the war in 1945, most of the paintings were confiscated by the Red Army and transported to Moscow and Kiev. On their return to Dresden in 1956, part of the collection was displayed on the ground floor of the still partly destroyed Semper Gallery. The Old Masters Gallery re-opened in 1960 after the reconstruction of the gallery building was completed. While the most important paintings survived this period, the losses were significant. Records from 1963 state that 206 paintings had been destroyed and 507 were missing.[1] Of these, some 450 are still missing today.[1]
Inside the gallery with the Sistine Madonna in the background

Some 750 paintings, or 40 percent of the entire collection, are exhibited in the gallery. They date from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Paintings from the 19th century onwards are displayed in the New Masters Gallery (Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister) in the Albertinum.

Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces by Italian painters such as Raphael, Titian, Giorgione, Correggio, Tintoretto and Guercino are displayed. The collection contains a large number of 17th-century Flemish and Dutch paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt, Jordaens, Van Dyck and Vermeer. Outstanding works by German, French and Spanish painters are also among the gallery's attractions.

With 58 paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Lucas Cranach the Younger, the gallery houses the world's largest collection of Cranach paintings. Panels and canvases of the early Renaissance are also exhibited, including the recently restored Saint Sebastian by Antonello da Messina.

The color of the walls is used to structure the collection. Italian artwork is exhibited in rooms with deep red walls. Dutch and Flemish paintings are shown on green backgrounds. Spanish and French pictures from the 17th century are displayed on gray walls.

The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister receives more than 500,000 visitors a year.


The year 2012 marks the 500th anniversary of Raphael's Dresden masterpiece Sistine Madonna which was celebrated with a special exhibition.
See also

Galerie Neue Meister – Paintings from the 19th century to the present
List of museums in Saxony

Notes and references

Harald Marx: Gemäldegalerie Dresden - Führer Alte Meister . E. A. Seemann, Leipzig, 3. Aufl., 2006, ISBN 978-3-86502-021-5, pp. 8-17. (German)

Fritz Löffler: Das alte Dresden - Geschichte seiner Bauten. 16th ed. Leipzig: Seemann, 2006, ISBN 978-3-86502-000-0 (German)

Further reading

A. H. Payne (19th century), Royal Dresden Gallery, New York: D. Appleton, OCLC 8988584 Check date values in: |date= (help)
Gemäldegalerie (Dresden, Germany) (1873), Complete catalogue of the Royal Picture Gallery at Dresden, Dresden, [Germany]: G. Schönfeld's Buchhandlung, OCLC 4424862
Gemäldegalerie (Dresden, Germany) (1912), Catalogue of the pictures in the Royal Gallery at Dresden, Dresden: Buchdr. der Wilhelm und Bertha v. Baensch Stiftung, OCLC 4232437

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