Alte Pinakothek


Datos principales

Barer Str. 27, 80333 München, Alemania
+49 89 23805216


The Alte Pinakothek has been housed in various buildings, being moved as its collection increased. The building where it is currently housed is a neoclassical work, built by the architect Leo von Klenze between 1826 and 1836. The promoter of the new building was Louis I, whose particular Hellenistic tastes affected the outer part of the building; his son held the Greek throne for a brief time. The name Alte Pinakothek means old gallery in German, as opposed to the Neue Pinakothek or modern gallery which brings together art from the mid-19th century onwards. The Alte Pinakothek exhibits paintings from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The collection is made up of different artistic styles. Firstly there is the northern Baroque painting, which comes from the fusion of the collections from the principalities of the Kurss-Kurpfalz and Pfalz-Zweibrücken dynasties. Secondly, there is a small but exquisite selection of paintings from the Cinquecento, brought together to save them from the pillaging of the Napoleonic Empire. Finally there is a collection of foreign works. As in other national art galleries, the intervention of the governing princes was decisive in its formation. Over its history Germany was a conglomerate of principalities and duchies, controlled by Electors who came from various dynasties, whose alliances and rivalries determined the supremacy of one family or another. The earliest works in the collection come from Bavaria. John of Bavaria was the patron of the Van Eyck brothers. Wilhelm IV, who unified the Bavarian duchy, ruled between 1493 and 1550 and was the first great German patron of the arts. He commissioned many works to German artists, which led to the consolidation of the magnificent German school of the 15th and 16th centuries. Almost all the paintings he purchased were for the decoration of his Lusthaus palace and today make up an important part of the Pinakothek. His successor, Albert V, who ruled from 1550 to 1579, was a collector of curiosities in the best mannerist style. His findings were brought together in the Schatzkammer, which included portraits of illustrious men, and which were all eventually transferred to the Alte Pinakothek. Maximilian I, son of Wilhelm IV, greatly admired Dürer's art and most of the works by this exceptional artist that can be admired in the museum today are there thanks to the Duke. He also made an important collection of paintings by Rubens. Maximilian Manuel, Prince Elector, married Adelaide of Savoy, whose family had relations with Italy, France and Spain. The quantity of acquisitions he made was so great that a new seat had to be built for the gallery. His Italianised tastes made him commission the building to Zuccalli. The new gallery was built in Schleisseheim, and the collection was enhanced with twelve Rubens, fifteen Van Dycks and works by Bramante, Snyders, Jan Fyt and Murillo. In the catalogue from 1761 the Italian section of the collection was still limited but exquisite. Other Dutch works were added such as paintings by Brouwer, Teniers and Brueghel. Spanish painting received special treatment which came to an end when the Spanish War of Succession broke out, leading the Habsburg dynasty to be replaced by the French Bourbons, enemies of the House of Austria. At the end of the 18th century the main purchases were still paintings by Dutch artists. In 1799 the Zweibrücken dynasty was in power and they were interested in French painting, previously ignored by the gallery. Consequently paintings by [Claudio de Lorena#PINTOR#2581], Poussin, Chardin, Boucher, Greuze and others were introduced into the Alte Pinakothek's collections. The confiscation of church property in the 19th century also affected the ecclesiastical properties of Bavaria and the Tyrol. Added to this was the policy of the evacuation of castles and noble residences between 1803-1804 in the face of the advances made by Napoleon's troops. As a result of this many works of art found refuge in the Alte Pinakothek to prevent them from being moved to Paris. Another collection that enriched the Alte Pinakothek was that of the dynastic house of Neuburg-Sulzbach from Düsseldorf, which included works by Italian Baroque artists like Annibale Carracci, Domenichino and Guido Reni, as well as works by earlier artists such as Tintoretto, Andrea del Sarto and Raphael. The different tensions between the electoral dynasties enhanced the collection, because the various alliances and marriages of convenience provided donations and gifts that were destined to the Pinakothek. The unification of Germany in the 19th century brought the regimes of the principalities to an end. As a result during the 19th century the gallery only acquired paintings through a programme of purchases and exchanges that aimed to fill in the gaps in its collection of works from the Italian Renaissance School.

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