Art Gallery (Kulturforum) : Michelin's recommendations
The collection of Portrait Gallery owes it founding to the common passion of the Great Elector and Frederick the Great. This museum, however, owes its rapid development to Wilhelm von Bode, the director of the gallery from 1890. He multiplied the acquisitions and, up until World War I, assembled an almost complete collection of European artists from the 13th C to the 18th. The second conflict was disastrous: more than 400 canvases, including work by Reubens and Caravaggio were destroyed in the air-raid shelter in Friedrichshain. The portraits, after the division of the city and the collections, were taken to a building adjoining the Ethnology museum in Dahlem where they stayed until 1996. A transfer to the Kulturforum in 1998, finally put an end to half a C of division and temporary solutions. Despite the losses, the collection is still one of the most replete in the World. The building was designed so that the majority of the rooms could be lit by vertical daylight. The building comprises 53 rooms, arranged in a horseshoe shape, which contain more than 1100 portraits and which are set around a central hall which acts as a temporal axis. The study room on the ground floor contains 300 additional works. The works of the greatest masters are presented in chronological order and arranged by school, from Italian to German and French, including Flanders, Holland and Spain.