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Preview – From Odessa to Berlin: 16th to 19th Century European Painting

13 February - 28 April 2024

Preview – From Odessa to Berlin: 16th to 19th Century European Painting

Exhibition: 13 February - 28 April 2024

The Gemäldegalerie (Old Master Paintings) is showing twelve paintings from the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art. The presentation previews a major special exhibition opening in January 2025 that will bring around 60 paintings from Odessa into dialogue with works from the Berlin collections. The collaborative project is being funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

From Odessa to Berlin – A Collaborative Project

Close commonalities with the Staatliche Mussen zu Berlin painting collections led the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, the Berlin Gemäldegalerie and the Alte Nationalgalerie to initiate this collaborative project. They aim to organize a large special exhibition bringing the works from Odessa into dialogue with paintings from the Berlin collections. In September 2023, 74 key works from the painting collection at the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art were brought to Berlin from Ukraine. They are now being art historically examined, conservatively handled, and framed in preparation for the exhibition.

Preview in the Gemäldegalerie: Twelve Paintings from Odessa

The collaboration reflects close cultural ties between Germany and Ukraine. To present the project to a broad public, the Gemäldegalerie is mounting a special presentation with twelve selected works from 13 February to 28 April 2024.

The Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art

Founded in 1923, the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art is home to a wide-ranging art and cultural history collection. These holdings form part of Ukraine’s cultural identity and show numerous connections to Western European collections. However, the works are little known in Western Europe.

Roelant Savery (1578-1639), Paradise, 1618-28
Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern art, Odessa
Photo: Christoph Schmidt

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Shortly after Russia began its war of aggression, the Odessa Museum’s most important paintings were moved for safekeeping to an emergency storage facility in Ukraine. These sixteenth to nineteenth-century works include paintings by influential artists such as Francesco Granacci, Frans Hals, Roelant Savery, Bernardo Strozzi, Cornelis de Heem, Alessandro Magnasco, Andreas Achenbach and Frits Thaulow.

Curatorial Team

Preview – From Odessa to Berlin: 16th to 19th Century European Painting is curated by Sabine Lata, research associate at the Gemäldegalerie, and supervised by restorer-conservators Anja Lindner-Michael and Thuja Seidel.