More than 30 palaces and gardens in Berlin and Brandenburg allow visitors to go back through over 400 years of history, into the era of the Electors of Brandenburg, the Prussian Kings and Queens and the Emperors of Germany. Since 1991 most of them belong to the UNESCO World Heritage, as testimonies to the accomplished architecture and landscape gardening in Prussia. The collections of the Foundation of Prussian Palaces and Gardens include more than 240,000 works of art, including paintings and sculptures as well as prints and drawings, exquisite pieces of furniture, objects of gold and silver, glass, porcelain and textile.
The Painting Collection consists of over 4,000 paintings and miniatures from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries, as well as wall and ceiling paintings that are on display in all of the Foundation‘s 30 palaces in Berlin and Brandenburg. The collection includes exceptional works that are often shown in their original arrangements. These eighteenth and nineteenth-century settings are designed to be an interplay of various forms of art. More than 500 paintings by Dutch and Flemish artists are on view at the Picture Gallery of Sanssouci, Caputh House, Oranienburg Palace and the New Palace in Potsdam and Brandenburg as well as Grunewald Hunting Lodge and Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin. The collection includes nine paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, seven paintings by Anthony van Dyck and other works by artists like Jacob Jordaens, Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, Theodoor van Thulden, Abraham Janssens, Anthon Schoonjans, Frans Floris, Jan Lievens, Ferdinand Bol, Govert Flinck, Gerard van Honthorst, Abraham Bloemaert, Gerard de Lairesse, Nicolaes Berchem and many more. Another 2000 paintings have been designated “war losses” since the end of World War II in 1945 (see www.lostart.de).
The sculpture collection comprises about 5,000 works. Its broad spectrum ranges from ancient sculpture to the heyday of the Berlin school of sculpture in the nineteenth century. Sculptures made of marble, sandstone, bronze, iron, cast zinc, terracotta, ivory mass, plaster, electroplating and less frequently wood and ivory and copper drift works decorate the palaces and gardens. Through commissions and acquisitions of the Brandenburg-Prussian court, they became components of the complex total works of art (Gesamtkunstwerk) created between the seventeenth and early twentieth centuries. With their artistic statements they are part of the art and cultural-historical heritage of Brandenburg-Prussia and provide information about the intellectual, philosophical and religious context of their clients in many different ways.
Dutch and German pictorial works of the seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries commissioned by the “Great Elector” Frederick William of Brandenburg and his successor Frederick III/I from artists such as François Dieussart, Gabriel Grupello, Bartholomeus Eggers, Andreas Schlüter and Michael Döbel are part of the museum presentation in the palaces of Oranienburg, Caputh and Charlottenburg. From ca. 2020 the full-length marble statues of ten Brandenburg electors together with the portraits of Ceasar, Konstantin the Great, Charles the Great, and Rudolph I of Habsburg by Bartholomeus Eggers will be on loan to the Humboldt Forum Berlin where they will be displayed together prominently.
Dr. Alexandra Nina Bauer, Curator of German, Dutch and Flemish Paintings (May 2020)