Alte Pinakothek Munich is one of the oldest art museums in the world, best known for its vast collection of old masters’ works.
The name of the place is a reference to the art period (“old masters“) that is exhibited at the museum in comparison to the other “Pinakothek” museums in Munich.
Of these other Pinakothek museums, “Neue Pinakothek“, located opposite Alte Pinakothek, has a collection of mostly 19th century art…
…while the third Pinakothek, “Pinakothek der Moderne” museum offers modern and contemporary art.
You can get to know all these three museums from their joint official website, at www.pinakothek.de.
All the Pinakothek art museums, together with the historical art museums at Königsplatz, form the Munich “Kunstareal” (“Art Area“) district.
PHOTO: Alte Pinakothek’s main entrance, the Klenze portal — named after the building’s architect, Leo von Klenze — as seen from the square between the museum and Neue Pinakothek.
Commission to build Alte Pinakothek Munich was given to Leo von Klenze by King Ludwig I (in reign 1825-1848) in 1826. The king’s idea was to build a new gallery for the Wittelbachs‘ (ruling dynasty in Bavaria) family art collection.
This museum building, constructed with inspiration taken from Rubens’ “Judgment Day” (painted on one of the world’s largest canvases), was completed in 1836.
After completion, Alte Pinakothek in turn influenced museum architecture elsewhere, including art museums in Rome, St. Petersburg, Brussels, and Kassel.
The museum’s Wittelsbach art collection was started by Wilhelm IV(1508-1550), who commissioned most significant artists of the time to paint significant works of art.
Prince-Elector Maksimilian I (1597-1651), meanwhile, extended the collection with acquisitions, especially purchasing paintings made byAlbrecht Dürer.
Dutch and Flemish art in the collection grew significantly during the reign of Maksimilian II Emanuel (1679-1726), and Ludwig I, who had the museum built, contributed by acquiring early German and Dutch art…but also works of art from Italian Renaissance (his favorite subject).
Over time, the museum collections have grown to include over 800 masterpieces…
…and especially in terms of early Italian, German, Dutch, and Flemish art, this is one of the most significant collections in the world.
Of the individual old masters’ works, highlights include:
- Albrecht Dürer: “The Four Apostles”
- Peter Paul Rubens: “Rubens and Isabella Brant in the Honeysuckle Bower”
- Pieter Brueghel vanhempi: “Harbour Scene with Christ Preaching”
- Giotto: “Last Supper”
- Leonardo da Vinci: “Madonna of the Carnation”
- Titian: “Allegory of Vanity”
- Raphael: “Tempi Madonna”
- Velazquez: “Young Spanish Gentleman”
Alte Pinakothek Munich
Address: Barer Strasse 27, 80333 Munich, Germany
Official website: Pinakothek.de/en/alte-pinakothek
These additional locations include the Baroque galleries at Schleissheim palace.