August 4, 2009

Alexander von Humboldt in Dresden

Filed under: Uncategorized — ubikcan @ 2:02 pm

One of the places we visited this summer was Dresden. I hadn’t known it, but the city is the repository of one of the largest collections of Old Masters paintings in the world (the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister). On a visit, I was delighted to encounter this famous portrait of Humboldt. Since the museum allowed photography I can present a couple of pictures I took.

I like the way the painter has captured an amused look in his eyes. We were taught in high school that Humboldt could be considered the father of modern geography (along with Carl Ritter).

The paintings are in what is known as the “Zwinger” which our German guide was quite happy to tell us was a difficult word, but means something like the “in between” ie the in-between space by the walls. During the war the paintings were evacuated and ended up in the Soviet Union. It was aparently quite tricky to arrange their return as no doubt the USSR wanted to keep them but didn’t want to upset a Soviet client state (the former East Germany).

The collection also contains the famous Raphael angels you see on all the Hallmark cards, which yes I did photograph, but will link here to someone else’s version:

More photos later.


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