Enfilade

Exhibition | Revisiting the Picture Gallery of Frederick the Great

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 12, 2013

From the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation (SPSG):

The Most Beautiful Gallery: Revisiting the Picture Gallery of Frederick the Great
Sanssouci, Picture Gallery, Potsdam, 9 May — 31 October 2013

As for the gallery, after St. Peter’s in Rome, it is undisputedly the most beautiful thing there is in the world. –Marquis d’Argens to Frederick the Great, 1761

GalleryThe Picture Gallery in Sanssouci Park ranks among the first and most magnificent buildings in Europe to be erected specifically for an art collection. Together with the paintings and sculptures selected by Frederick the Great, the building, adorned with portrayals of the arts and precious materials, constitutes a unique overall work of art. As a fitting expression of connoisseurship and education, at the same time it pointed to the importance of the Kingdom of Prussia. 250 years after it was first opened, visitors are now being invited to view through the eyes of Frederick this ‘queen’ of all gallery beauties.

The Picture Gallery was finished in 1763, and the cabinet was hung with paintings in 1764. Many of the masterpieces – for example, by Peter Paul Rubens and Carlo Maratta as well as by sculptors such as Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne and Louis-Claude Vassé – still hang here today. The collection of more than 180 paintings and sculptures has undergone powerful changes since its founding, however. The Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg is now re-introducing the Gallery in a way that corresponds to the original furnishing concept of its royal builder.

Girl Playing KnucklebonesFor the first time since 1830, antique sculptures, on loan from the Collection of Antiquities and the Sculpture Collection at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin as well as the Muzeum Narodowe in Poznan, are coming to Sanssouci, where they may be admired in the Gallery once again. Among the pieces is the famous statuette of the Girl Playing Knucklebones. The Frederician manner of hanging paintings has been visualized in a photograph presentation. Particularly distinctive is the new hanging of the paintings in the small cabinet: With the return of works in 2010 that were long thought to be war losses, a closer approximation to the historical wall-to-wall hanging has been achieved. Thus, it is now possible to experience the overwhelming gallery rooms in a completely new manner as architecture, painting, and sculpture engage with one another in a unique dialogue.

Catalogue: Die Schönste der Welt: Eine Wiederbegegnung mit der Bildergalerie Friedrichs des Großen (Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2013), 144 pages, ISBN 978-342207184, €15.

Additional information is available at ArtDaily»

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