This summer, members of the European Art Society and Collectors Circle experienced the best of Old Masters and Contemporary art at major museums and special exhibitions throughout Germany, including Berlin, Kassel, and Münster. EAS member and docent Lisa DeVivo writes about her experience:
“During our trip to Berlin, we had the opportunity to view, and to be awed by, a good selection of traditional art masterworks, out of the vast and truly dazzling array to be found in that city’s museums.”
Museum Island was fascinating: a cluster of art treasuries which together seemed to hold masterpieces from every century and every nation in history. With delight we saw antiquities unearthed by German archaeologists: the Egyptian bust of Queen Nefertiti, the magnificent, 46-foot-tall Babylonian Ishtar Gate, covered with strutting lions and bulls in bas-relief.
We saw Byzantine works and Baroque, massive sculptures and Tilman Riemenschneider’s exquisite carved wooden figures, canvases by Romantic Caspar David Friedrich, and even some by French Impressionists.
At Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie (Painting Gallery), a comprehensive assemblage of European paintings from the 13th-18th centuries, our docent was the museum’s curator of early Dutch, Flemish, and German art. (Such access to experts who are outstanding authorities in their fields helps make travel with the BMA’s support groups so worthwhile.) The curator led us in artistic exploration of paintings, and more, as with the social-historical perspective we gained in an examination of a Hans Holbein portrait of a young merchant.
As well as basking in the work of such masters as Jan van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer, we saw glorious works by Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio, and many others.
We saw much pleasing architecture: Museum Island’s Baroque and Neoclassical beauty, the high Rococo style of nearby palace Sanssouci, the grandeur of Schloss Wilhelmshöhe in Kassel.
Kassel, some 200 miles from Berlin, had its own splendid Old Masters’ Painting Gallery, with a strength in 17th-century Flemish and Dutch paintings. Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Rubens, Anthony van Dyck—an embarrassment of riches.
Altogether a delightful and unforgettable trip!”