Many major tourist cities have a place that could be called an art center: the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Louvre in Paris, and the Old Masters Gallery in Dresden. The gallery is related to many brothers in that it was conceived as a receptacle for a private collection that eventually grew into the State Museum. Even if you're not interested in art, you should still visit this place - if only for the purpose of telling your children and grandchildren that you saw Raphael's Sistine Madonna, Caesar's Dinarium and other masterpieces of world art culture.
History of the Old Masters Gallery
The exhibition began in the 16th century: in 1560, a cabinet of fine arts was opened at the monarch's residence, where works of art, relics, valuable paintings and achievements of applied art were kept.
The gallery was systematized and the collection of Elector Augustus II the Strong, who was considered a connoisseur of art, was added to it. In 1722 an inventory was commissioned: All works of art were removed from the cabinet and placed in the stables for viewing by the German nobility. Augustus III, son of Augustus II, who had inherited his father's love of beauty, managed to add to his collection of world masterpieces. He bought:
- Wallenstein's famous collection.
- One hundred best paintings from the collection of the Duke of Modena
- Works by Titian, Raphael, Velázquez, Correggio.
In 1855, the newly built Old Masters Gallery on Theater Square opened its doors to visitors. For 80 years a complete exhibition was kept there, until in 1931 it was decided to transfer works of art of the 19th and 20th centuries to the New Gallery.
The gallery features works in the Rococo, Baroque, Romantic and Classical styles. Here you will see:
- Canvases by Italian masters: Tintoretto, Raphael, Messina, Botticelli, Titian, etc.
- French masters: Caravaggio and Poussin.
- Paintings by Spaniards: Velazquez, El Greco, Murillo.
- Collection of Dutch masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Snyders, Bruegel.
- German classics by Heinz, engravings by Dürer, Rottenhammer.
The gallery is divided into halls, some of them dedicated to one genre: altarpiece, landscapes, portraits, etc.
World-famous paintings worth visiting in Dresden
- "Raphael's "Sistine Madonna. The Virgin Mary with Jesus in her arms, standing on a cloud, is the painting that brought Raphael worldwide fame.
- "Chocolatier" by Lyotard. The picture shows a girl holding a tray of hot chocolate and water. It seems simple at first glance, but critics guess an entire drama in the depiction of the poor girl's painstaking everyday life.
- Giorgione's "Sleeping Venus" is the goddess of love in a relaxed pose.
- Correggio's Holy Night depicting a sacred scene of a shepherd worshipping a newborn baby God Christ
- "Caesar Dinar" by Titian is another painting on a biblical subject. The artist depicted Jesus Christ and Caesar trying to seduce him.
Despite the fact that during the WWII the entire collection was hidden in German mines, during the winter bombing of 1945 about 300 valuable exhibits of the Gallery were destroyed.
In 1945, Soviet soldiers took out almost the entire exposition from the Gallery as a trophy. Ten years later, in 1955, Nikita Khrushchev returned all of the surviving works of art to Germany, adding several hundred more from Soviet museums as compensation.
The management of the Dresden Gallery has no plans for restoration - on the contrary, it is proud that this historic place avoids innovations.
Every year the gallery is visited by 250,000 tourists and locals.