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Dresden. Old Masters Picture Gallery (3)

Dresden - Florence on Elbe (1)
Dresden - Baroque Fantasy (2)

RAPHAEL Sanzio. The Sistine Madonna, 1513-14

The foundation of the famous gallery was initiated in 1560 by Elector Augustus of Saxony who founded the "Kunstkammer" of the Electors of Saxony in his castle. It preserved "natural and human curiosities and rarities, containing some paintings. But specialized collecting started only after Augustus the Strong came to power in 1694. He amassed an impressive art collection of the Renaissance and Baroque painting from all over the Europe. The Elector-King liked having the best of everything – jewelry, palaces, clothes decor and women. He purchased paintings of extraordinary quality, invited designers of genius and established the manufacture of the very first European porcelain.

Jean-Antoine WATTEAU. Merry Company in the Open Air, 1716-19

After the death of Augustus the Strong in 1733, his son Augustus III continued to collect artwork with great dedication and passion and almost abandoned the affairs of his dominion. He organized a net of agents who attended all the auctions in Paris, Venice and Antwerp, purchasing entire collections.
In 1741 a large collection of the impoverished Duke of Wallenstein was purchased, in 1745 the stock has been enhanced by the Duke of Modena’s (Francesco III) 100 best items of his collection which included the masterpiece of Titian “The Tribute Money”. In 1754 “Sistine Madonna” by Raphael was purchased in a small Italian monastery for 20,000 sequins – one could built an entire city for that price.

Some paintings were illegally appropriated from Royal Castle in Poland by Frederick Augustus I, like Portrait of a Bearded Man in Black Beret and Portrait of a Man in the Hat Decorated with Pearls by Rembrandt.
There are, for instance, many paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, the Dutch little masters and landscape painters -- Terborch, Dou, Van Goyen, Ruysdael, an abundance of French painting, from Poussin and Lorrain to Watteau.
I placed here my favorite paintings.

Adolph von MENZEL. Afternoon at the Tuileries Garden

Gerrit Adriaensz BERCKHEYDE. Dam Square, Amsterdam

CANALETTO. Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the Scuola di San Marco, c. 1725

Carl Gustav CARUS. Oaks at the Sea Shore, 1835

Carlo DOLCI. St Cecilia at the Organ, 1671

EL GRECO. Christ Healing the Blind, c. 1567

Willem Claesz HEDA. Breakfast Table with Blackberry Pie, 1631

Jean-Antoine WATTEAU. The Fest of Love, c. 1717

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