Old National Gallery

Pierers Universal-Lexikon, 1891 

Situated on Berlin's Museum Island (UNESCO designated World Heritage Site) the Old National Gallery harbors artwork treasures of the 19th century, namely Classical, Romantic, Biedermeier, Impressionist and early Modernist masterpieces (Friedrich, Schinkel, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cézanne, Rodin, Liebermann, Corinth, Spitzweg etc). Currently the gallery is exhibiting the "Amalfi Sketchbook" by Carl Blechen.

The basis of the current collection was established in 1861, when the Swedish banker J. H. W. Wagener bequeathed 262 paintings to the Prussian king William I. Until the opening of the Old National Gallery in spring 1876, the collection was housed in the Academy of Arts.

The building itself (designed by Stüler, constructed by Strack) is shaped like a Corinthian temple (with attached apse) set on a high ashlar base with embedded rectangular windows. An impressive flight of steps leads the visitor up to the main entrance, through an open hall of pillars, while the bronze equestrian statue of the museum's founder, Frederick William IV, on the middle landing of the stairway is securing the building's front.

Heavily damaged during the air raids of World War II, the building was partly reopened in 1949. However, reconstruction work continued until 1969.

More photos
Homepage of the Gallery

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