The Staatliche Kunsthalle (State Art Gallery) is an art museum in Karlsruhe, Germany. The Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe is a museum of fine arts and houses paintings by mainly German, French and Dutch masters from a total of eight centuries.
The building built by Heinrich Hübsch in the years 1836 to 1846 as a Grand-ducal picture gallery and expanded in several stages of construction belongs to the oldest museum buildings in Germany. It was specially created for the extensive art collection of the Baden princely house, the basis of which is the so-called Mahlerey Cabinet of the Margrave Caroline Luise (1723-1783).
The building complex was initially conceived as a four-leaf system, but was finally realized in the form of a two-story main wing in the form of a round arch. The main façade shows a combination of different materials. The construction was extended in the course of several expansion phases, a. The architects Josef Durm and Heinrich Amersbach were involved. The two marble statues on the balcony, which date back to Franz Xaver Reich (1815-1881), represent allegories of the main collections of the collection, the left – hand painting, the right – hand sculpture. Furthermore, the richly designed iconographic program of Reich, Is a collection of sculptures and sculptures, sometimes depicting Michelangelo and Raffael, Dürer, Hans Holbein d. J. and Peter Vischer d. Ä. recur. The building was heavily damaged during the Second World War, especially in the area of the roofs. Moritz von Schwind’s frescos in the stairwell were also affected. The old Academy building, which formed a wing of the building complex, was so largely destroyed that it could not be rebuilt. In his place, the Kunsthalle, headed by the architect Heinz Mohl, received the most recent extension in 1990.
Since 1890, the neighboring orangery has been used for the exhibition of contemporary art. Between her and the main building is Hans-Thoma-Strasse, the former mansion of the director of the garden, also built by Heinrich Hübsch. Since 2009 he has housed the “Junge Kunsthalle”. Adjacent to the building complex are the Botanical Gardens of the City of Karlsruhe and the Federal Constitutional Court.
The collection consists mainly of French and Dutch paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries, acquired by Markgräfin Karoline Luise between 1759 and 1776. From this collection are important works, such as the portrait of a young man of Frans van Mieris the Elder, the winter landscape with lime kiln by Nicolaes Pieterszoon Berchem, the lace – braid of Gerard Dou, the still life with hunting equipment and the dead partridge of Willem van Aelst Chicken farm of Melchior de Hondecoeter as well as a self-portrait of Rembrandt van Rijn. In addition, there are four still lives of Jean Siméon Chardin and two shepherds of François Boucher, whom the Markgräfin had directly commissioned by artists.
A first essential extension was given to the museum in 1858 by the collection of the cathedral capitulary Johann Baptist von Hirscher (1788-1865) with works of religious art of the 15th and 16th century. This group includes works like two tablets of the Sterzinger altar and the wing fragment The sacramental blessing of Bartholomäus Zeitblom. From 1899 to 1920, Hans Thoma, a painter from Baden, held the position of director of the Kunsthalle. He acquired altar paintings such as the Tauberbischofsheim altar by Matthias Grünewald and pushed the expansion of the collection forward with art of the 19th century. Only his successors extended the holdings of the Kunsthalle to include works of Impressionism and the following artists’ generations.
The permanent exhibition in the main building includes around 800 paintings and sculptures. Among the outstanding works of art of German painters of late Gothic and Renaissance are the Christ as painter of Albrecht Dürer, the crucifixion and crucifixion of Matthias Grünewald, Maria with the child of Lucas Cranach the Elder, the portrait of Sebastian Brant by Hans Burgkmair the Elder and the The Birth of Christ by Hans Baldung.