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Taytoman Agonistes
Thursday, November 11, 2004
A German Dream: Masterpieces of Romanticism from the Nationalgalerie Berlin

Just saw this (link may die at the end of January) in the National Gallery. Wonderful, heady stuff. As well as lots of Caspar David Friedrich, who I adore, lots of other German romanticists, early and late. Names like Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Carl Blechen, and Moritz von Schwind meant nothing to me about four hours ago, now they are high on my to-find-out-more list. As well as the mysterious Germanic artistic brotherhood called "The Nazarenes"

HIghlights (jumbled and quickly jotted down)
All the C.D.F. - especially the dreamy, shifting landscape of Riesengebirge.
Schinkel's awesome pictures of unfinished cathedrals in idealised medieval cities. This Schinkel chap - painter, architect, sculptor, set designer - was quite a mensch.
The wonderful, elongated Blechen picture of a waterfall in Italy - Gorge Near Amalfi
The twin portraits by Waldmuller of the dashing Byronic Captain von Stierle-Holzmeister and his corpulent, worried looking mother.
The triple portrait of the painters Lessing, Sohn and Hildebrandt by Hubner, looking like those old Communist banners showing Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin or [insert dialectitian of the month here] looking grim and revolutionary.
My initial favourite however, was the "Self Portrait with Brother Ridolfo Schadow and Bertel Thorvaldsen" of Wilhelm von Schadow. Thorvaldsen, a Danish sculptor, stands between the two brothers shaking hands, looking like an ultraTeutonic personification of some stern virtue or other. I advise you to Google this, or if you can get to see it - the reproduction in the catalogue doesn't capture it's wonderful qualities.

Lots more good stuff there. Six euro well spent.

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