Masterworks in Berlin: A City's Paintings Reunited

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9780821219515: Masterworks in Berlin: A City's Paintings Reunited

This work looks at important paintings from nine museums all over Berlin. Eisler uses a chronological and geographical organization to bring together over 700 works of world importance, stretching from the first half of the 12th century to 1914 and covering artists as diverse as Giotto, Raphael, Da Vinci, Titian, Tintoretto, Breughel, Van Eyck and Durer. As Germany in general and Berlin in particular face the ramifications of reunification, hundreds of works, often thought lost or destroyed, are coming to light and being presented for the first time in more than 50 years.

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Review:

Colin Eisler, a professor at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, was born in Berlin, and had to flee the city as a refugee at age two. During the ensuing war the city was largely destroyed, and afterward literally split in two by Cold War enmity characterized by a chilling wall. Eisler has undertaken the happy task of documenting the city's art collections as they are brought together and the city's museums restored. From the legendary Museum Island in eastern Berlin to Frederick the Great's Sanssouci Palace to what was once the Old Master Museum in Dahlem, Eisler takes us on a tour of the city's art troves. There remains a colossal task to finish in Berlin; it will take years to restore buildings and rearrange collections. The final relocation of many of the works in the book is unknown. But Eisler provides a tantalizing glimpse of the city's treasure.

From Publishers Weekly:

This edition truly unites the rich collections still dispersed among the Prussian capital's many museums. Eisler, the Robert Lehman professor of Fine Arts at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, loves these works and brings to his discussion of over 700 paintings an extraordinary knowledge of their history and place in the larger history of art. His breezy style entwines historical context with observations on artistic development, and an occasional provocative glibness: Botticelli is called "painter to the parvenu"; d'Oggiono's Christ "suggests an aspiring bearded lady"; Biedermeier is described as "more a state of mind than a style"; "no Westerner ever got more mileage out of a single brushstroke" than Hals. Berlin's collections, gained through astute political and trading maneuvers, place the city among today's richest centers of Western Art, despite great losses in WWII. Acquisitions from the Renaissance to today include premier examples from every major European epoch and, as such, the book can serve as a great teaching museum. The added bonus is Berlin's extensive German collections, which will help introduce Americans to works of painters that are increasingly coming into their own now that the reunification of Germany makes exhibitions of their work practicable: painters like Chodowiecki and Spitzweg, Friedrich and the romantics; lesser-known "Germanic impressionists" like Menzel, Liebl, Truebner, the influential Berlin Secession and Expressionism. This is not all-inclusive. Dix and Kollwitz, to cite two examples, are absent save for their names. Notwithstanding, this volume is worth its formidable weight and price for the text and the fabulous reproductions.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.: New York Graphic Society, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. Masterworks in Berlin: A City's Painting Reunited THIS BOOK IS SEALED IN PLASTIC AND HAS THE ORIGINAL CARDBOARD BOX. This book is NEW. Overseas buyers, please contact me before purchase, this book will need additional shipping cost due to the weight and size. Hardcover: 685 pages Publisher: Little Brown and Company; 1st edition (September 1996) ISBN-10: 0821219510 ISBN-13: 978-0821219515 Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 9.8 x 12.4 inches Shipping Weight: 8.7 pounds. Bookseller Inventory # abe 111

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