By using this website you agree to our Cookie policy

August 1998

Vol. 140 | No. 1145

The Burlington Magazine

Buy PDF issue
Subscribe
Buy PDF issue
Subscribe
Editorial

The New Gemäldegalerie in Berlin

Few architectural briefs can have carried so much historical and political freight as that for the new Gemaldegalerie in Berlin. In 1986-87 the Munich firm of Hilmer and Sattler was awarded the commission for a new picture-gallery to join the concert-hall, libraries and other museums at the dangerous east end of the then autonomous city of West Berlin. The first phase of museum construction - Rolf Gutbrot's politely brutalist Kunstgewerbemuseum and the massive communal foyer intended to service four buildings housing West Berlin's collections of European art - had already been completed, and the 1960s concept of a cultural centre was beginning to seem rather dated. The Kulturforum, with its mishmash of modernist styles, including Mies van der Rohe's sleek Nationalgalerie and Hans Scharoun's gaudy Philharmonie, was quite clearly faltering in its task as a bastion of capitalist civic values thrusting out against the Wall. No sooner had planning been completed and funds earmarked than the Wall came down, leaving the Kulturforum marooned on the edge of a wasteland and raising major doubts about its role in the unified city where Schinkel's Schauspielhaus and Bode's Museumsinsel asserted undeniably prior claims.

 

Editorial read more
  • Zanobi Strozzi's 'Annunciation' in the National Gallery

    By Dillian Gordon

    Zanobi Strozzi(1412-68) was a close follower of Fra Angelico, and his works are frequently confused with those of Angelico's other pupils, particularly Domenico di Michelino and the Master of the Buckingham Palace Madonna.1 Recorded mainly as a manuscript illuminator, Zanobi is also known to have painted panels, although no securely documented example survives and no signed works have hitherto been discovered. A painted cross now in the Parish Church of Mocogno, near Modena, which has been identified with the funerary cross from S. Marco, Florence, for which Strozzi was paid in March 1448, is too damaged to be of compara- tive use,2 and Strozzi's documented altar-piece for the Chapel of S. Agnese in S. Egidio (S. Maria Nuova), Florence - for which he was paid between 1434 and 1439 - is not certainly identifiable, although a possible candidate has been proposed and will be discussed below.3 The discovery of his name on the recently cleaned and restored Annunciation in the National Gallery (Fig.4) is therefore extremely important in provid- ing a touchstone for the attribution of panel paintings to Zanobi. This article publishes the 'signature' for the first time and examines the problems of the picture's dating, provenance and patronage.

     

    Buy PDF
  • Hilton and Constant in Correspondence

    By Adrian Lewis

    During 1953 Roger Hilton engaged in an extended correspondence with the Dutch artist Constant (Constant Nieuwenhuys, b.1920). A close relationship had developed between the two men as a result of Constant's stay in London for three months on a British Council grant and Hilton's return with him to Holland in February 1953, during which visit Hilton encountered the paintings of Mondrian. The correspondence extended from mid-March to November 1953 and included at least eleven letters, nine of which survive. It involved a dialogue on artistic ideas which is characteristic of Constant's international contact-making and sense of his role as an avant-garde catalyst of the wider cultural repositionings he deemed necessary to help effect the reconstruction of society.' While this exchange reflects - but cannot be said to have inflected - the dynamic of Constant's theorising, for Hilton it undoubtedly had a more fundamental impact. Indeed he was quite explicit about the decisive 'influence of Constant via Mondrian' at this point in his development.2

     

    Buy PDF
  • Antonio Tronsarelli: A Roman Collector of the Late Sixteenth Century

    By Matteo Lafranconi

    Anyone interested in the history of collecting is aware that, despite the many references to collections of drawings in sixteenth-century Italy, there are all too few corroborating documents such as inventories. Indeed, so sparse is the evidence that historical assessment of the phenomenon has been largely based on hypothesis. Even the full nature and scope of Vasari's celebrated Libro di Disegni remain unresolved, given the paucity of verifiable information we have about it, although it seems clear enough that Vasari must have established a standard for collectors in Rome and Tuscany, as well as disseminating the notion that drawings could be of histor- ical value as well as a source of aesthetic pleasure.'

     

    Buy PDF
  • Degas's Collection

    By Henri Loyrette

    The exhibition The Private Collection of Edgar Degas, held at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, in 1997-98, was a remarkable event, not only for the impressive quantity of works it assembled and their beauty, but also for the reflections they provoked when seen together. Marking the culmination of research carried out in recent years - by Ann Dumas, Anne Roquebert and, in preparation for the show, by the Metropolitan Museum team - it also provides the starting point for new investigations. Developing out of a much smaller 'dossier' show held at the National Gallery, London, in 1996, which was conceived as a complement to the exhibition Degas beyond Impressionism,' the New York display was the fruit of important and painstaking work identifying and tracing works of art owned by Degas, and would deserve high commendation on this score alone, quite apart from its other obvious merits.

     

     

    Buy PDF
  • God and Gold in Late Antiquity

    By Liz James
    Buy PDF
  • The Scholar In His Study. Ownership and Experience in Renaissance Italy

    By John Kent Lydecker
    Buy PDF
  • Camillo Massimo collezionista di antichita. Fonti e materiali

    By Ingo Herklotz
    Buy PDF
  • Titian's Women

    By Gabriele Neher
    Buy PDF
  • Gold, Silver and Bronze from Mughal India

    By J. M. Rogers
    Buy PDF
  • Flowers Underfoot: Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era

    By Rosemary Crill
    Buy PDF
  • The Early Porcelain Kilns of Japan: Arita in the First Half of the Seventeenth Century

    By William Sargent
    Buy PDF
  • Organizing Independence. The Artists Federation of the Paris Commune and Its Legacy, 1871-1889

    By Neil McWilliam
    Buy PDF
  • Galeria Rogalinska Edwarda Raczynskiego [The Rogalin Gallery of Edward Raczynski]

    By Katarzyna Murawska-Muthesius
    Buy PDF
  • Il palazzo non finito. Saggi inediti 1910-1926

    By Carl Brandon Strehlke
    Buy PDF
  • Kazimir Malevich and the Art of Geometry

    By Jeremy Howard
    Buy PDF
  • The Self-Aware Image. An Insight into Early Modern Meta-Painting

    By Ivan Gaskell
    Buy PDF
  • Rodrigo Moynihan. London

    By Julian Freeman
    Buy PDF
  • René Daniëls; Baj, Jorn, Spoerri. Eindhoven

    By Tony Godfrey
    Buy PDF
  • Bergognone. Pavia

    By Luke Syson
    Buy PDF
  • Juan de Arellano. Madrid

    By Peter Cherry
    Buy PDF
  • József Rippl-Rónai. Budapest

    By Paul Stirton
    Buy PDF
  • Degas at the Races. Washington

    By Richard Kendall
    Buy PDF
  • Chuck Close. New York and Chicago

    By David Anfam
    Buy PDF
  • Australian and American Landscapes. Canberra, Melbourne and Hartford

    By David Blayney Brown
    Buy PDF