Alte Pinakothek

Munich, Germany

The Alte Pinakothek (Old Pinacotheca) is one of the oldest art museums in the world and houses one of the most famous collections of Old Master paintings. The name Alte (Old) Pinakothek refers to the time period covered by the collection—from the 14th to the 18th century. The Neue Pinakothek covers 19th-century art, and the recently opened Pinakothek der Moderne exhibits modern art. All three galleries are part of the Bavarian State Picture Collection, an organization of the Free state of Bavaria.

King Ludwig I of Bavaria (1825–1848) ordered Leo von Klenze to erect a new building for the gallery for the Wittelsbach collection in 1826. The Alte Pinakothek was the largest museum in the world and structurally and conceptually well advanced through the use of skylights and the convenient accommodation of northern lights for the cabinets. Even the neo-renaissance exterior of the Pinakothek clearly stands out from the castle-like museum type usual in the early 19th Century. It is closely associated with the function and structure of the building as a museum. Very modern in its day, the building became exemplary for museum buildings in Germany and all of Europe after its inauguration in 1836, and thus became a model for new galleries in Rome, St Petersburg, Brussels and Kassel.

The museum galleries were designed to display Rubens's 'Last Judgment' (1617), one of the largest canvasses ever painted. The museum building was severely damaged by bombing in World War II but was reconstructed and reopened to the public in the late 1950s. The ornate, pre-war interior including the large loggia facing the south façade in the upper floor were not restored. A new wall covering was created in 2008 for the rooms on the upper floor of the Alte Pinakothek with a woven and dyed silk from Lyon. The new color scheme of green and red draws on the design of the rooms, dates back to the time of construction of the Alte Pinakothek and was predominant until the 20th Century. Already for King Ludwig I and his architect Leo von Klenze the use of a wall covering alternately in red and green, showed the continuation of a tradition that dates back to the exhibition of the old masters of the late 16th Century in many of the major art galleries in Europe and there exists to this day.

The museum is under the supervision of the Bavarian State Picture Collection which also owns an expanded collection of several thousand European paintings from the 13th to 18th centuries. Especially its collection of Early Italian, Old German, Old Dutch and Flemish paintings is one of the most important in the world. Among other masterpieces The Madonna of the Carnation, a.k.a. Madonna with Vase or Madonna with Child, by Leonardo da Vinci is displayed at the Alte Pinakothek.

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Details

Founded: 1836
Category: Museums in Germany
Historical period: German Confederation (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mayra Frumoasa (2 years ago)
Amazing! On Sundays entry only 1€!! They have a nice Café with selfmade cakes!
Iane Machado (2 years ago)
A big Rembrandt and Rubens collection which I wasn't expecting. Some amazing pieces of Caspar David Friedrich. I could have spent more time there. Really beautiful building and beautiful collection.
Milja (2 years ago)
Love this museum. Great collection from middle age. Definitely coming again.
Jean-Luc Poignard (2 years ago)
Fair moments in cultural environment with hundreds of masters. Freshness or modernity despite the centuries between our world and the past. A few wonderful surprises for nosy curious visitors! I wish I could come back soon.
Agnieszka Świerczyńska (2 years ago)
A great place for painting lovers, but not only. Sensationally exposed images in a large space. The best painters in one city I highly recommend.
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