Alte Pinakothek

Alte Pinakothek
(German; "Old Museum of Painting")

Art museum, one of several collections within the Bavarian State Picture Galleries in Munich, Germany, and one of the great museums of the world.

It specializes in European painting from the Middle Ages through the late 18th century; its core collections once belonged to several early Bavarian electors palatine. The building is a 1957 reconstruction of the original 19th-century gallery, destroyed in World War II. Other state museums include the Neue ("New") Pinakothek, which is based on the private collections of Bavarian kings and features 18th–20th-century European paintings and sculpture; the Schack Gallery collection of late Romantic German painting; and the State Gallery of Modern Art.

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      fine art museum in Munich, Ger., noted for its collection of paintings by 14th- to 18th-century European masters. It is one of several institutions that constitute the Bavarian State Picture Galleries.

      The collection of the Alte Pinakothek (Old Pinakothek) originated in the 1500s in the private collection of the Wittelsbach (Wittelsbach, House of) family. The museum now boasts one of Europe's oldest and most magnificent painting collections. The museum, founded by the avid art collector and Bavarian king Ludwig I, opened in 1836 and soon became a widely imitated model throughout Europe for housing and displaying art. The museum closed in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II, and its collection was removed as a safeguard. The building was severely damaged during the war and remained closed until its restoration was finished in 1957. Much of the collection is drawn from the personal galleries of various Bavarian royals and from defunct monasteries. The collection contains many major works from Old Masters across the continent, including Dutch, Flemish, German, Italian, French, and Spanish pieces by artists such as Michael Pacher (Pacher, Michael), Albrecht Altdorfer (Altdorfer, Albrecht), Albrecht Dürer (Dürer, Albrecht), Raphael, Diego Velázquez (Velázquez, Diego), and Peter Paul Rubens (Rubens, Peter Paul). The museum's comprehensive holdings trace the evolution of painting from the Middle Ages to the 18th century.

      The Alte Pinakothek consists of two floors, including several main galleries and dozens of small rooms. Because of space constraints, the museum showcases from 800 to 900 works at a given time, although its collection numbers in the thousands.

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Universalium. 2010.

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