Located in the historical center of the capital of Saxony, the Dresden Picture Gallery or, as it is often called, the Gallery of Old Masters, is able to interest all art lovers! Here you can enjoy the canvases of German artists, see expositions of works by Dutch painters and admire the paintings of other great masters of Europe. The art gallery attracts over 500,000 tourists every year.
History of the Dresden Art Gallery
The history of the gallery began in the XVII century under the reign of Augustus II, who loved to collect works of art. In 1746, the son and successor of the elector of Saxony, August III, increased his father's collection with rare paintings of the Renaissance.
In 1855, canvases from the royal palace were moved to a special gallery erected on the territory of the Zwinger palace complex in order to demonstrate all their charming beauty to the general public.
Part of the Dresden Art Gallery was destroyed or plundered during the thriving period of German National Socialism, and the building itself was badly damaged during the war. However, they managed to take out and hide many works, and after the liberation of Dresden from the Nazi invaders, the canvases were found and handed over to restoration workshops in Leningrad, Moscow and Kiev, and in 1956 the paintings were returned to the capital of Saxony.
The gallery building was restored in 1960 and to this day continues to delight visitors with beautiful exhibits of great artists!
Famous paintings of the greatest painters
Due to the limited exhibition space, the Dresden Art Gallery exhibits no more than 450 paintings, although its fund has more than 1,500 works of Renaissance art. Periodically, the pictures replace each other, so a second visit to the gallery will allow you to enjoy not only the previously seen works, but also discover other paintings by great masters.
"Girl with a letter." Jan Vermeer
The painting, written in 1657, demonstrates not only the beauty of the depicted girl reading the letter, but also the skill of the Dutch artist J. Vermeer, who managed to create a magnificent play of light on the canvas. He very softly illuminates the girl, emphasizing all the important details, and the room on the canvas is literally saturated with light.
The Chocolate Girl. Jean-Etienne Lyotard
In the Gallery of Old Masters, “Chocolate Girl” is located in the hall at the entrance, where a pleasant aroma of hot chocolate is floating.
During his stay in Vienna in 1744, the Swiss artist J.E. Lyotard created a beautiful picture depicting a young German maid who carries a cup of hot chocolate on a tray.
In 1881, Henry Pearce, president of Walter Baker Confectionery, was so impressed with Lyotard’s canvas that he made the painting the logo of his product.
"Sleeping Venus." Giorgione
“Sleeping Venus” is an incomplete masterpiece of the great master of the Renaissance. The figure of the goddess was painted by Giorgione himself, but in 1510 he died of the plague, and his apprentice Titian finished the picture. According to art critics, he depicted the background, the clothes on which she lies and the sky. And with the development of technology (infrared shooting) on the canvas, another addition of Titian was discovered - Cupid, located at the feet of Venus, but hiding from human eyes for the time being.
"Sistine Madonna". Raphael Santi
The painting was painted by R. Santi in 1513 for the monastery of St. Sixtus, located in the Tuscan city of Piacenza. This canvas was considered the most famous in the world for a very long time. However, his fame was deserved not only because of its beauty, but also because the elector of Saxony Friedrich August III bought it from the monastery for a lot of money.
The Dresden Altar. Albrecht Durer
The altar triptych was made by the German artist A. Dürer by order of the Elector of Saxony Frederick III in 1496. On the central panel, the master depicted the worship of the Virgin Mary the Baby. Saint Sebastian is represented on the right wing, and Saint Anthony on the left, surrounded by fantastic creatures who tempted him in the desert.
Opening hours and cost of visiting
The Dresden Art Gallery is open six days a week, from Tuesday to Sunday. You can visit it from 10:00 to 18:00.
Cost of visit:
- Children and adolescents under 17 years old - free
- Entrance ticket = 10 €
- Group tour (10 people) = 11 €
- Audio guide with commentary by art critics on the most famous exhibitions = 3 €.
From 2018 on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. every visitor can look at works of art absolutely free of charge!
Object type: art gallery.