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Heavenly: Exhibition attracted Crowds!

258.000 visitors saw the exhibition „Heavenly Splendour“ in the Semperbau at the Zwinger

The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery) in the Semperbau at the Zwinger saw crowds of visitors with the special exhibition “Heavenly Splendour. Raphael, Dürer and Grünewald paint the Madonna”. The exhibition organized by the Vatican Museums and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden was seen by 258.000 from Dresden, Germany, and other countries between 6 September, 2011 and 8 January, 2012. The show attracted great attention until the very last day because visitors were able to see Raphael’s masterpieces, the “Madonna di Foligno” (1511/12) and the “Sistine Madonna” (1512/13), united for the first time in 500 years. In the end, it were foremost Russian guests who were in Dresden on the occasion of the Christmas and New Year celebration and waited in long queues in front of the Gemäldegalerie to see the Madonnas.

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Maaz, director of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister summarizes: “Due to the exhibition ‘Heavenly Splendour. Raphael, Dürer and Grünewald paint the Madonna’, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister met great response. The importance of an exhibition, however, is not only primarily shown in the number of visitors, but also in the direct encounter with the artworks. We witnessed our visitors to be impressed by the beauty of the Madonnas in an almost pious meditation and in an intensive textual confrontation with the paintings.”

The exhibition and the accompanying educational programme not only were special events for visitors interested in art, but also offered several connecting factors for deeper discussion on a scientific level. At the end of the exhibition, an internal study day was held at the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in which curators and restaurateurs of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister discussed the technical side of paintings and questions of restoration together with colleagues of the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, the National Gallery in London and the Vatican Museums in Rome. The colleagues of the Museo Nacional del Prado profited from the exchange of experience, because they are currently working on the restoration of Raphael’s “Christ Carrying the Cross” (around 1516).

With the end of the exhibition, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden start into the jubilee year of the “Sistine Madonna” – a painting that was created by Raphael 500 years ago. Beginning on 26 May 2012, a large special exhibition accompanied by an extensive educational programme will shed light onto the art and cultural historic context as well as on the history of the painting’s reception. Please find more information on the museum’s website

press contact

Dr. Stephan Adam
Pressesprecher und Leiter Kommunikation
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Postfach 12 05 51
01006 Dresden

Tel. ++49-351-49 14 2643
Fax ++49-351-49 14 2366

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