A world-class gallery: the Alte Pinakothek (Old Pinakothek) in Munich is home to an outstanding collection of European paintings, stretching from the 14th to the 18th century.
Many of the 700 pieces on display represent high points in the history of art, including Albrecht Dürer’s epochal “Self-Portrait at Twenty-Eight Years Old Wearing a Coat with Fur Collar” from 1500. As the owner of the painting “Madonna of the Carnation” (which was painted in around 1473), the Alte Pinakothek is the only German museum to have its very own Leonardo da Vinci.
Visitors can also see pieces by Raphael, Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Rembrandt and Boucher. Albert Altdorfer’s painting “The Battle of Alexander at Issus”, which is on show in the Pinakothek, is one of the first paintings to come from the Wittelsbach family’s original collection.
The Alte Pinakothek also houses the largest collection of Max Beckman paintings outside the USA.
Munich can thank art-connoisseur King Ludwig I for the construction of the museum. The monarch wanted to make his royal treasure trove accessible to the public and commissioned court architect Leo Von Klenze to build the museum at the start of the 1820s. The Pinakothek was then opened in 1836, at which point it was the largest museum in the world.
The Pinakothek suffered heavy damage during the Second World War. During the renovations, the new architect Hans Döllgast replaced the missing façade with unrendered brick work. This means that the “wounds” inflicted by the war are still visible to visitors today.