Please note: The special exhibition Caspar David Friedrich: Infinite Landscapes is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, 9 am – 6 pm, with extended opening hours until 8 pm Thursday thru Saturday.


Friedrichswerdersche Kirche and Alte Nationalgalerie Online: Live Tour of the Special Exhibitions in November 2020


On Friday, 20 November 2020, director of the Alte Nationalgalerie Ralph Gleis and curator Yvette Deseyve lead a tour through Ideal und Form, a special exhibition at the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche presenting 19th-century sculptures from the collection of the Nationalgalerie. On 27 November at 4 pm, Ralph Gleis will lead a tour through the exhibition Decadence and Dark Dreams: Belgian Symbolism at the Alte Nationalgalerie, which he himself curated.

The live tours will take place on the Instagram channel of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Anybody with an Instagram account can take part by clicking on the “stories” of the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin account. During the tour, users will be able to ask questions of the curators.

Ideal and Form at the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche

Showcasing sculpture from Schinkel’s era to the German Empire, the exhibition Ideal and Form traces this medium’s lines of development across the long 19th century into the Modern period. It invites visitors to rediscover the Berlin school of sculptors, which was internationally oriented even at that time. The Friedrichswerdersche Kirche (Friedrichswerder Church), planned and built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel from 1824‒30, has been a museum church and also a branch of the Alte Nationalgalerie since 1987. It offers a unique opportunity to experience 19th century sculpture in a largely originally preserved architectural setting from that same period – with changing natural light effects that reveal ever new facets of the works. Encompassing the most comprehensive inventory of 19th century German sculptural works of art, the Nationalgalerie sculpture collection holds a prominent position within Germany’s museum landscape.

After a nearly eight-year closing, the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche (Friedrichswerder Church) reopened to the public on Tuesday, 27 October 2020. Built from 1824 to 1830, it is the only historically preserved church interior by Karl Friedrich Schinkel still in existence. 

Decadence and Dark Dreams. Belgian Symbolism at the Alte Nationalgalerie

The voluptuous gaze upon the abysmal, the exacerbated aestheticism of a jaded society, which considered itself as being in crisis, the morbid allurement of the tension between Thanatos and Eros – all these are artistic topics that took shape in the late nineteenth century and found expression especially in Belgian Symbolism. In sharp contrast to naturalists’ and impressionists’ excitement for those facets of modernity that lie on the surface and in the ephemeral, a new artistic movement emerged in the 1880s, whose main characteristics were sensuality, fascination for magic, profound signification, as well as irrationality. Thus, symbolism can be regarded, in many aspects, as an anticipation of Freud’s theory on the interpretation of dreams, which was eventually published in 1899.