Dresden: new masters

Maybe it’s just me, but starting from about 200 years ago – around JMW Turner, Caspar David Friedrich, then the Impressionists – painting starts to make much more sense than most of the stuff I was writing about in the Alte Meister. Why? I’ve thought about that, and I really don’t know the answer. I guess I’ll have to think some more…

But then again, so does a lot of the art of the ancient world, even as far back as the Assyrians. Those Assyrians again – they seem to be following me around Europe (or is it the other way around?) Four more in Dresden, with their larger-than-life profile poses and their wings, just as spectacular as in Paris or London…

Here in the Neue Meister, a fair amount of the older stuff, and then suddenly that lift in the middle of the 19th century: some really interesting portraits and a lot of gorgeous landscape painting, the standout once again being the cool serenity of Friedrich himself:

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This is a portrait by Ferdinand Von Rayski of a Saxon government official, more honest and less flattering than you’d expect for the middle of the 19th century:

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War, by Otto Dix:

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A sculpture called Stack by the German-resident Liverpool artist Tony Cragg (which had me suggesting to Allison that we sell for display some of the neat piles of mess she has positioned around the house):

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And a couple of very recent pieces by the aging Dresden artist Gerhard Richter, Strip and Aladdin (both multi-part pieces, these just examples):

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