Bernardo Bellotto paintings
Bernardo Bellotto, “Dresden from the Right Bank of the Elbe, Above the Augustus Bridge,” 1747, oil on canvas. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, photo by Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut, Photo © Kimbell Art Museum

Bellotto Exhibition at the Kimbell Art Museum Transports Viewers to the Splendor of 18th-Century Dresden

From the Kimbell:

Bernardo Bellotto is recognized as one of the greatest view painters in history, acquiring his fame in mid-18th-century Dresden as the court painter for the elector of Saxony, Frederick Augustus II, who was also King Augustus III of Poland. Over the course of a decade, Bellotto produced dozens of breathtaking depictions of the city and its environs, most measuring over eight feet in width. The success and renown of these grand, comprehensive works would earn Bellotto prestigious commissions at prominent courts throughout Europe.

Bernardo Bellotto paintings
Bernardo Bellotto, “Pirna from the Postaer Höhe,” 1753–54, oil on canvas. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, photo by Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut, Photo © Kimbell Art Museum

Bellotto’s magnificent paintings of Dresden are now in the collection of the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery) of the Dresden State Art Collections and will be on loan to the Kimbell Art Museum for the special exhibition “The Lure of Dresden: Bellotto at the Court of Saxony,” on view February 10 through April 28, 2019. They will be accompanied by portraits and allegories of the elector and his queen, as well as view paintings of Venice and Saxony by Bellotto’s uncle and teacher Antonio Canaletto and Dresden court painter Alexander Thiele.

Bernardo Bellotto paintings
Bernardo Bellotto, “The Zwinger Complex in Dresden,” 1751/52, oil on canvas. Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, photo: Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut

“These enormous and expansive paintings cannot be fully appreciated unless you are among them,” commented Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell. “The magnitude of their depth and scale, along with their extraordinary detail, draw the viewer into the scene. We’re grateful to the Gemäldegalerie for the loan of these important masterworks.”

Bernardo Bellotto paintings
Bernardo Bellotto, “Architectural Capriccio with a Self-Portrait in the Costume of a Venetian Nobleman,” c. 1762–65, oil on canvas. Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada. Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2016, Photo © Kimbell Art Museum

Visitors to the exhibition will have the unique opportunity to view the majesty that was Dresden in the 1700s. One of the greatest cities of 18th-century Europe, it is only now, following its near-total destruction in the Second World War, being rebuilt to its former glory — with the aid of Bellotto’s pictorial legacy.

“The Lure of Dresden: Bellotto at the Court of Saxony” is on view at the Kimbell (Fort Worth, Texas) February 10 through April 28, 2019.


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