The Kunsthalle München is showing some one hundred masterpieces by famous painters including works by Caracci, Velázquez, van Dyck, Lorrain, Watteau and Canaletto. They illustrate the roots of the legendary rich Dresden Picture Gallery and its flourishing throughout the Baroque era and the Age of Enlightenment.
The exhibition focuses on the reign of Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland (1670–1733), also known as the Strong, and his son Augustus III (1696–1763). During the “Augustan Age”, an era of economic and cultural efflorescence, the manifold building projects, vibrant cultural life and the enhancement of the royal collections all embodied the electoral court’s new claim to power. The construction of the Cathedral and the Frauenkirche during this era gave Dresden its world famous silhouette. Moreover, prestigious painters like the Italian Bernardo Bellotto (1721–1780) or Louis de Silvestre (1675–1760) were drawn to Dresden, where they were engaged as court artists. This vibrant, innovative era forms the backdrop behind the painted masterpieces and their stories.