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Fri 16 March - Sun 10 June 2007
An exhibition of the Art Library in the Old National Gallery
With the exhibition "New Architecture. Berlin around 1800", the Art Library marks the 50th anniversary of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) with a solemn highlight. The exhibition leads the visitor into an epoch of unprecedented cultural bloom, with Berlin as the centre of the sciences and the arts. No other art renders this spirit more visible than architecture. Over 150 drawings from the collection of the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library), together with precious loans from architectural collections in Berlin and Potsdam, make for a panorama of Berlin architecture around 1800 unprecedented in its comprehensiveness.
The influences of the French Revolution, as well as a new appreciation of Antiquity, effected a change in Berlin's architecture from late Rococo ("Zopfstil") to the clean, economical forms of Classicism. Architects now conceived houses with lucidly functional plans and façades - an anticipation of the architectural developments of the 20th century. The exhibition includes works by Carl Gotthard Langhans, Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff, Friedrich and David Gilly, as well as a selection of drawings from the early work of Karl Friedrich Schinkel.