After seven years of part-closure and extensive renovation work, Dresden’s Old Masters Picture Gallery will officially reopen to visitors on 29 February – including a special late-night opening on 28 February and free admission until 1 March.
Word famous art in new splendour
Located in the Semper building gallery wing of Dresden’s Zwinger palace, the Old Masters Picture Gallery offers visitors a unique experience of European art history, as the collection, going back to the Saxon electors, includes key works for each era. The completely redesigned permanent exhibition will emphasise this by presenting paintings according to geographical origin and school, while also highlighting important themes of each period. World famous masterpieces, such as Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna”, Rembrandt’s “Ganymede” and the views of Dresden by Bernardo Bellotto, will function as focal points, emphasising the unique status and significance of these painters and their works for European art history.
Alongside modernising the building, more than 20 of the collection’s masterpieces were renovated, plus the exhibition will feature new multimedia display formats. The museum will also for the first time integrate the Dresden State Art Collection’s Sculpture Collection, showcasing exquisite sculptures from antiquity to 1800. This enhanced set-up will reveal the mutual influences of painting and sculpture as well as underline the importance of antique sculpture for Renaissance and Baroque painting. During the opening week until 5 March, visitors can expect a range of special events and guided tours.
More 2020 Dresden highlights
When in town, visitors should pencil in Dresden Castle to view the splendid, rebuilt 16th century state apartments that were made accessible last September for the first time after their complete destruction in 1945. Tip: Combine this deep dive into history with a 21st century immersive experience on the grounds of the Zwinger palace, powered by cutting-edge technology and virtual reality elements, that take visitors back to historical events and settings. Until 30 June 2020, www.zwinger-experience.com allows visitors to travel back into time by way of a 270° panoramic projection of the horse ballet that was staged for the wedding of Augustus the Strong’s son with the daughter of the Austrian Emperor in 1719. A new, immersive multimedia installation launching in autumn will then bring Baroque Dresden back to life and take visitors on a virtual reality supported time travel to see how the Zwinger palace changed over time.
Celebrating Saxony’s industrial culture in 2020
2020 also sees a special anniversary, with Saxony celebrating the region’s rich industrial legacy: Headlined “Boom! 500 Years of Industrial Heritage in Saxony” (25 April to 1 Nov), a central exhibition hosted in Zwickau’s Audi building as well as six further sites will showcase Saxony’s culture of industry, work and trade. More than 500 objects, including art, photography and film material, span 500 years and take visitors back in time and to the future, presenting how Saxony, once one of Europe’s major cradles of the industrialisation, continues to innovate and produce. Take the chance to explore the region and see the six exhibitions framing the main event in Zwickau. Apart from another exhibition in Zwickau’s August Horch Museum, these include the Railway Museum and Museum of Industry in Chemnitz, the Mining Museum Oelsnitz in the Ore Mountains, the show mine “Reiche Zeche” in Freiberg and the “Gebrüder Pfau” cloth factory in Crimmitschau.
For more 2020 event highlights in Saxony’s regions, towns and cities get your free “Cultural highlights in Saxony 2020 – 2021” brochure online.
Reopening of Old Masters Picture Gallery:
Late night opening on Fri, 28 February from 10 pm to 2 am, Sat & Sun, 29 Feb & 1 March, 10 am to 6 pm; free admission from 28 Feb to 1 March with a limited number of timed tickets, tickets available from 12 Feb at the museum’s ticket office and remaining tickets on the day.
Direct Ryanair flight to Dresden.
All major airlines to Berlin or Frankfurt with onward rail connections.
Saxony Tourism is part of the Cultural Heart of Germany, www.cultural-heart-of-germany.com, tourism initiative. Together with its neighbouring state Thuringia, the region features a unique cultural heritage and rich musical tradition that the Cultural Heart of Germany promotes in the UK.