From Friedrich to Dix. German
Paintings from Dresden’s Galerie Neue Meister
The State Hermitage Museum announces the exhibition From Fiedrich to
Dix. German Paintings from Dresden’s Gallerie Neue Meister, organized
by the Hermitage Museum in collaboration with the Galerie Neue Meister
of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden with a generous support by
V. Potanin Foundation, Moscow.
While the Albertinum is closed for construction and refurbishment, the
Galerie Neue Meister of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden is delighted
to present major works from its holdings of German paintings at the State
Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The exhibition features representative paintings
from the period 1800 to 1945, extending from the Romantic period up to
the eras of Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit. Following on from exhibitions
in Los Angeles and Beijing, this is the most comprehensive guest exhibition
of works from Dresden’s modern masters’ collection so far – and it is
being held in one of the world’s most eminent museums.
In no fewer than five halls of the Hermitage, forty nine masterpieces
provide an overview of the main collecting focal points of the Galerie
Neue Meister and thus present a cross-section through the history of German
painting in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. The
paintings on show by such artists as Lovis Corinth, Conrad Felixmuller,
Wilhelm Leibl and Ludwig Richter are representative of the various epochs
and trends during that period. However, the paintings selected for the
exhibition have also been chosen with reference to the particular perception
of German art in Russian art history. Hence, the display includes works
by German painters whose themes were influenced by Russian culture. For
example, Max Slevogt painted the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova,
and Robert Sterl produced artistic impressions of the arduous work of
the Volga boatmen.
In the city on the River Neva, which has a twinning partnership with
Dresden, the collection of the Galerie Neue Meister is one of the best-known
art collections in Germany.
However, the exhibition not only reflects the close cultural relations
between Saxony and Russia, which extend back to the 17th century, but
also perpetuates and promotes those relations. The exhibition itself is
symbolic of this shared history – it is an expression of gratitude and
appreciation for the return of the works of art which were taken to the
USSR following the Second World War and which were handed back to the
Dresden museums between 1955 and 1958.
One painting that is representative of the history of many pictures from
the Dresden Gemaldegalerie which were taken to Russia in 1945 and initially
kept there is Adolph von Menzel’s “Sermon in the old Klosterkirche in
Berlin”, painted in 1847. This is a central work in the exhibition and
it was among those sent back from Russia to Dresden fifty years ago –
and now it is being exhibited in Russia again for the first time.
The long tradition of artistic and academic exchange between Dresden
and St. Petersburg has been revitalised over the past few years through
loans and joint research projects. Particularly worthy of note is the
research project initiated in 2005 and financed by the Grant Program of
the J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles under the title “Art Transfer - Russo-German
Cultural Relations since the 17th Century”. This project will investigate,
among other things, the influence of the Kunstkammer of August the Strong
on the "Kunstkamera" of Peter the Great, the collection belonging
to Count Bruhl and its sale to St. Petersburg, as well as international
exhibition exchanges between the Soviet Union and the GDR, or to be more
precise between the museums in Leningrad, Moscow and Dresden.
The exhibition curators are Dr. Birgit Dalbajewa, representative of the
director Galerie Neue Mester, and Dr. Boris Asvarish, the Chief Researcher
of the Western European Department of the State Hermitage Museum.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue From Fiedrich
to Dix. German Paintings from Dresden’s Gallerie Neue Meister, Staatliche
Kunstsammlungen Dresden - The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg,
published by The State Hermitage Museum. St. Petersburg, 2008.
Eva Maria Stange, State Minister of Science and Art of Saxony
Martin Roth, Director General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
At the press-conference
At the opening of the exhibition
At the exhibition
Catalogue of the exhibition