Information from the museum, 18 March 2015
Karoline Luise of Baden (1723–1783) shaped the art collection of the margraves of Baden more than any other before or since. In 2015 the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe will be devoting a Great State Exhibition to this passionate art collector. The exhibition is due to run from 30 May to 6 September 2015 and will coincide with celebrations marking the 300th anniversary of the city of Karlsruhe.
The centrepiece of the show will be the presentation of Karoline Luise’s Mahlerey Cabinet, a collection that once boasted more than 200 paintings, most of which are still preserved in the Kunsthalle today.
Her ‘cabinet of paintings’ in the Karlsruhe Palace eventually comprised 200 paintings, the majority of them works by Dutch masters. Highlights include Rembrandt’s self-portrait (1645), still lifes by Willem van Aelst, Jan Davidsz de Heem, Jan Weenix, Jan van Huysum and Rachel Ruysch, landscapes by Nicolaes Berchem and Jan Wynants, and genre paintings by Abraham Bloemaert and Gerrit Dou. A student of Rembrandt, Dou was the founder of a school of ‘fine painting’ in Leyden/Leiden which is particularly well represented in Karoline Luise’s collection by the works of Gabriel Metsu and Frans van Mieris. Karoline Luise’s favourite painting, one of which she once made a skilled copy, was Caspar Netscher’s Death of Cleopatra (1673). Another painting within the genre of history painting on show here is Antiochus and Stratonice, which was painted by the Amsterdam classicist Gérard de Lairesse in 1676 and greatly celebrated by Johann Joachim Winckelmann.