Alte Pinakothek, Munich. The Alte Pinakothek is an art museum situated in the Kunstareal in Munich, Germany. It is one of the oldest galleries in the world and houses one of the most famous collections of Old Master paintings. The name alludes to the time period covered by the art, the Neue Pinakothek covers 19th-century art and the recently opened Pinakothek der Moderne exhibits modern art, all galleries are part of Munich's Kunstareal. The museum is part of the Bavarian State Picture Collection, an organization of the Free state of Bavaria. King Ludwig I of Bavaria ordered Leo von Klenze to erect a new building for the gallery for the Wittelsbach collection in 1826. The Alte Pinakothek was the largest museum in the world and structurally and conceptually well advanced through the use of skylights and the convenient accommodation of northern lights for the cabinets. Even the neo-renaissance exterior of the Pinakothek clearly stands out from the castle-like museum type usual in the early 19th Century. It is closely associated with the function and structure of the building as a museum. Very modern in its day, the building became exemplary for museum buildings in Germany and all of Europe after its inauguration in 1836, and thus became a model for new galleries in Rome, St Petersburg, Brussels and Kassel. The museum galleries were designed to display Rubens's Last Judgment, one of the largest canvasses ever painted. The museum building was severely damaged by bombing in World War II but was reconstructed and reopened to the public in the late 1950s. The ornate, pre-war interior including the large loggia facing the south façade in the upper floor were not restored. A new wall covering was created in 2008 for the rooms on the upper floor of the Alte Pinakothek with a woven and dyed silk from Lyon. The new color scheme of green and red draws on the design of the rooms, dates back to the time of construction of the Alte Pinakothek and was predominant until the 20th Century. Already for King Ludwig I and his architect Leo von Klenze the use of a wall covering alternately in red and green, showed the continuation of a tradition that dates back to the exhibition of the old masters of the late 16th Century in many of the major art galleries in Europe and there exists to this day. The Wittelsbach collection was begun by Duke Wilhelm IV who ordered important contemporary painters to create several history paintings, including The Battle of Alexander at Issus of Albrecht Altdorfer. Elector Maximilian I acquired paintings, especially the work of Albrecht Dürer. 21 paintings were confiscated and moved to Sweden during the occupation of Munich in the Thirty Years war. Maximilian's grandson Maximilian II Emanuel purchased a large number of Dutch and Flemish paintings when he was Governor of the Spanish Netherlands. So he bought for example in 1698 in Antwerp from Gisbert van Colen 12 pictures of Peter Paul Rubens and 13 of Van Dyck, with the pictures of Rubens from the personal estate of the artist which were therefore not intended for sale. Under Max Emanuel's successors, the purchases were largely discontinued due to the tight budget. Also Max Emanuel's cousin Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine collected Netherlandish paintings. He ordered from Peter Paul Rubens the The Big Last Judgment and received Raphael's Canigiani Holy Family as a dowry of his wife. Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria had a strong preference for Netherlandish paintings as well, among other paintings he acquired Rembrandt's The Holy Family. By the late 18th century a large number of the paintings were already displayed in Schleissheim Palace, and accessible to the public. After the reunion of Bavaria and the Electorate of the Palatinate in 1777, the galleries of Mannheim, Düsseldorf and Zweibrücken were moved to Munich, in part to protect the collections during the wars which followed the French revolution. Even though 72 paintings including The Battle of Alexander at Issus were taken to Paris in 1800 by the invading armies of Napoleon I, who was a noted admirer of Alexander the Great. The Louvre held it until 1804, when Napoleon declared himself Emperor of France and took it for his own use. When the Prussians captured the Château de Saint-Cloud in 1814 as part of the War of the Sixth Coalition, they supposedly found the painting hanging in Napoleon's bathroom. Most of the paintings have not been returned. With the secularisation many paintings from churches and former monasteries entered into state hands. King Ludwig I of Bavaria collected especially Early German and Early Dutch paintings but also masterpieces of the Italian renaissance. In 1827 he acquired the collection Boisserée with 216 Old German and Old Dutch masters; in 1828, the king managed to a
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