Stillleben mit Lebensmitteln und Musikinstrumenten, Hund und Katze
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Estel/Klut

Timeless Beauty. A History of Still Life

In the Winckelmann Forum of the Semper Building, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister presents around 80 works from its own collection in the exhibition "Timeless Beauty. A History of Still Life".

  • DATES 17/11/2023—01/09/2024
  • Opening Hours daily 10—18, Monday closed
  • Admission Fees normal 14 €, reduced 10,50 €, under 17 free, groups (10 persons and more) 12,50 €


The wide-ranging presentation - with masterpieces by painters such as Frans Snyders, Balthasar van der Ast, Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Adriaen van Utrecht, Willem Claesz. Heda, Abraham Mignon or Rachel Ruysch - comprehensively illuminates the genre "still life": Since when has it existed? What exactly constitutes a still life? What meaning, what content and what function did they have and still have today? What allegories and symbols are hidden in these motifs? 

Stillleben mit üppigem Blumenstrauß neben Totenkopf und Muschel
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Estel/Klut
Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Memento mori. Ein Totenkopf neben einem Blumenstrauß, um 1655/60 Öl auf Leinwand; 87,5 x 65 cm


Still lifes were not only showpieces of decorative room furnishings, in which the overall effect was in the foreground. They also bear witness to natural scientific interests: the depicted object is regarded as a scientifically object and "document" - today as in the Age of Enlightenment. At the same time, however, still lifes are also an illusion, a game with the eye (trompe-l'œuil), in which the optical effect of the entire motif takes center stage. Through the bravura of painting, the ephemeral is immortalized.

Stillleben mit einem hohem goldenen Pokal, Muscheln und anderen Gegenständen
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Estel/Klut
Pieter Claesz, Stillleben mit hohem goldenen Pokal, 1624 Öl auf Eichenholz; 65 x 55,5 cm


Many of the works on display, some of them in recently restored condition, allow visitors to rediscover this fascinating genre, as only a few of the more than 100 still lifes in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister are on permanent display.


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