'Renaissance Faces' was open to the public at the Bode Museum on the Museum Island until last Sunday evening, when the exhibition closed its doors for the last time ever at 10 p.m. The exhibition lasted 88 days and was open daily from 25 August 2011. Due to the overwhelming visitor interest, within a few days of opening, the opening times had to be extended to 10 p.m. from Thursdays to Sundays.
The sensitive works on display not only meant that visitor numbers in the exhibition had to be limited to a maximum of 300 people at any one time, the rooms themselves also had to be free of visitors for sufficient periods in between. Thanks to the flexible admission system, the capacity, though limited, was always maintained to the full. On display were 150 masterpieces from the early Italian Renaissance, not just paintings but also sculptures, drawings and medals. The main attraction was undoubtedly Leonardo da Vinci's 'Lady with an Ermine' which was on show until 31 October. As a result, the number of people thronging to see the show increased towards the end of October, when the exhibition was opened until midnight over the course of three days in the build-up to the painting's departure. Even after the painting's removal, visitor interest remained high.
The show will now move on to New York, where it will open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 19 December and run until 18 March 2012.
Even though 'Faces' has departed, there is some comfort to be found in Berlin for friends of Italian Renaissance art: the National Museums in Berlin presides over one of the world's most important collections of art from this epoch. In the Gemäldegalerie at the Kulturforum, paintings by Massacio, Giovanni and Gentile Bellini, Raphael and other artists of the Renaissance await the visitor. With six paintings by the Florentine Sandro Botticelli, the Gemäldegalerie boasts more works by this painter than any other museum in Germany. Furthermore, in the permanent exhibition at the Bode Museum, three masterpieces by Donatello, including his famous Pazzi Madonna, are on show alongside other exquisite pieces of sculpture.
Breakdown of 'Renaissance Faces' in facts and figures:
- over 250,000 visitors
- 2,412 booked tours (of which 2073 private tours, 83 foreign-language tours, 126 school tours, 118 public tours, 12 children's tours)
- 33,119 VIP tickets sold
- 7,585 Early Bird tickets sold
- Average time spent in the exhibition: 80 minutes
- Average waiting time before admission: 2 hours
(longest waiting time 9 hours, shortest 0 minutes)
- 26,000 copies of catalogue sold, with 3 print-runs so far.
- 110,000 postcards sold
- 11,100 posters sold
- 'Ermine' cuddly toy and the 'Leonardo' paper mask among the most popular items sold
Online sales of certain articles are set to continue until Christmas, available at: www.smb.museum/gesichter and: www.smb.museum/shop
The National Museums in Berlin wish to thank the Museum Island Trustees, the Deutsche Bank Foundation and the Kaiser Friedrich-Museums-Verein for their outstanding support of the exhibition. We also wish to thank our media partners: the television broadcaster RBB, the radio broadcasters RBB Kulturradio and Radio Eins, as well as the publications 'Die Welt', 'Berliner Morgenpost' and 'Art - Das Kunstmagazin'.