Even the young Johann Wolfgang Goethe was enraptured after a visit to the Dresden Art Gallery: "My amazement goes beyond words!" he is said to have exclaimed. Today's visitors will be equally impressed, whether they look round the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in the Semper wing of Zwinger Palace or the separate Galerie Neue Meister at the Albertinum on Brühl Terrace, a gallery that was established in 1965.
Here you begin to understand what the terms 'master' and 'masterly' truly mean. They are synonymous with outstanding works from the Italian Renaissance and Baroque – most notably Raphael's 'Sistine Madonna'– as well as the legacy of geniuses such as Titian, Canaletto, Botticelli, Veronese and Tintoretto. Masterly are the Flemish and Dutch paintings of the 17th century – Rubens, Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Vermeer – and works by Spanish, French and German painters including Dürer, Cranach and Holbein. The quality of the collection and the magnificent Semper building are what make the Old Masters Gallery so special.
The New Masters Gallery pays tribute to the most influential German artists of the Romantic era, including Caspar David Friedrich, and spans the period right up to the present day. Impressionists such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Max Liebermann, Max Slevogt and Expressionists such as Otto Dix, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff take visitors on a tour of modern art history right up to the time of Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Georg Baselitz.