Hallelujah! I did it. I visited the Gemäldegalerie at Kulturforum Berlin. There is no reason and no excuse why it didn’t happen earlier, but it’s better late than never. Now I’m able to Give Some Love to it.
Where to start?
With describing the feeling of humility in front of a painting that is more than 500 years old? Boring! Let’s try something else, let’s try a stream of consciousness about what it feels to be confronted with something that is on the one hand so much us and on the other hand so f#*%ing not.
Here we go: there are so many angels that you get the impression of hearing them sing and play the trumpet, but all that comes to your mind is Prince’s When Doves Cry; there are so many women that looks like men that you wonder why there aren’t more gender studies students around; there are halos all over the place but all you can think of is The Sinister Kid from The Black Keys where Dan Auerbach sings about the boy with the broken halo who run to meet his maker; there are bodies, faces and spatial perspectives that went terribly wrong but amuses us. There is so much holy blue and blood red, so much divine gold, so much eternity, so much devotion, so many virgins, well, so much virginity at all, that you want to shout out loud: oh lord, how could you let it happen that capitalism stole my virginity?!
After some time you will feel quite dizzy at the Gemäldegalerie. It’s just too much. But let me assure you, the rooms with the Italian Renaissance are more than enough for the first visit. It is very nice that the paintings are hung in a chronological order, because now you can follow the development that evolves from the 14th to the 16th century and THIS really makes you feel humble. First you see a static austerity that still breathes the mediaeval negation of the human body and life on earth in general, then it’s getting dynamic during the 15th, when artists refuses the denial of flesh and blood and when bodies became human bodies with red cheeks, sweat and a hot hot heat. Then everything gets messy and all that resolves in an opulent swirl of colors and bodies during the 16th century – you know what the Greek myth says about Leda with the swan (see last picture below), don’t you?
Well, now that I’ve started, I just can’t get enough. So, see you soon – at the Gemäldegalerie!
Gemäldegalerie, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin
Monday closed, Thursday 10am – 8pm, all other days 10am – 6pm