Kunsthalle Hamburg – Virtual Tour
The Hamburger Kunsthalle is the art museum of Hamburg and is one of the largest museums in Germany. The name ‘Kunsthalle’ derives from the museum’s history as an ‘art hall’ when founded in 1850.
Today, the Kunsthall’s collections cover seven centuries of European art, from the Middle Ages to the present day.
The Kunsthalle’s permanent collections focus on the North German painting of the 14th century and paintings by Dutch, Flemish, and Italian artists of the 16th and 17th centuries.
The collection also includes French and German drawings and paintings of the 19th century, and international modern and contemporary art.
The Kunsthalle consists of three connected buildings, dating from 1869, 1921, and 1997, located in the Altstadt district.
Virtual Tour of the Kunsthalle Hamburg
- “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” by Caspar David Friedrich
- Nana by Édouard Manet
- Madonna by Edvard Munch
- “Phryne before the Areopagus” by Jean-Léon Gérôme
- “Waterloo Bridge” by Claude Monet
- “The Highland Shepherd” by Rosa Bonheur
- “Helen of Troy” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Highlights Tour of the Kunsthalle Hamburg
“Wanderer above the Sea of Fog” by Caspar David Friedrich depicts a man standing upon a very steep rock face with his back to the viewer.
He is wrapped in a dark green overcoat, and he holds a walking stick in his right hand for balance.
His hair is caught in the wind, as he gazes out on a landscape covered in a thick sea of fog.
In the middle of the composition, several other ridges similar to the one the wanderer himself stands upon, jut out from the mist.
In the far distance, mountains rise in the left, that level off into lowland plains in the east. The pervading fog stretches out indefinitely, becoming indistinguishable from the cloud-filled sky.
Nana by Édouard Manet shows a young woman who stands before a mirror with two extinguished candles; her face turned to the viewer. Her dress is incomplete.
She is wearing a white chemise, blue corset, silk stockings, and high-heeled shoes. The interior suggests that it is a boudoir. Behind the woman is a sofa with two pillows.
An elegantly dressed man sitting on the couch can be partly seen on the right of the painting.
The title and the many details suggest that the picture represents a high-class prostitute and her client. “Nana” was a popular assumed name for female prostitutes during the second half of the 19th century.
Painted in 1877, it was refused at the Salon of Paris because it was deemed contemptuous of the time’s morality.
Madonna by Edvard Munch is the usual title for this composition. Munch painted several versions of the composition, showing a bare-breasted half-length female figure, between 1892 and 1895, using oils on canvas. He also produced versions in print form.
Munch used more than one title, including both “Loving Woman” and “Madonna.” Munch is not known for religious artwork and was not known as a Christian.
The emphasis in this painting is on the beauty and perfection of his friend and model for the work. It is also an expression of his worship of her as an ideal of womanhood.
Edvard Munch had to cope with mental illness during his life, and he experienced disappointment in love and his health.
In Munch’s “Frieze of Life,” he spent more than 30 years of his career depicting the stages of relationships between men and women and is part of what Munch called “the battle between men and women that is called love.”
“Phryne before the Areopagus” by Jean-Léon Gérôme depicts Phryne, a legendary courtesan in ancient Greece who was put on trial for impiety.
The speech from the prosecutor seemed to be successfully influencing the verdict to an unfavorable outcome for Phryne.
So as a last resort, her defender, the famous orator Hypereides, removed Phryne’s robes to bare her breasts and beauty before the judges to arouse their pity and turn the tide of opinion.
Phryne’s beauty caused the judges, to adopt a superstitious fear, that they could not bring themselves to condemn “a prophetess and priestess of Aphrodite” to death.
Waterloo Bridge by Claude Monet depicts the former bridge, not today’s Waterloo Bridge. In the 1930s London County Council decided to demolish the bridge in this painting and replace it with a new structure.
This painting shows the first bridge on the site, which opened in 1817. The granite bridge had nine arches, separated by double Doric stone columns. The new bridge opened in 1945 and remains in use today.
When Waterloo Bridge first opened in 1817, it acted as a bridge between the elegant north side of the Thames River, where the Savoy Hotel was located, and the south side, which was the home of industrial factories during that era.
Waterloo Bridge is one in a series of paintings of the famous bridge in London. All of the pictures in the “Waterloo Bridge” series share the same viewpoint overlooking the Thames.
“The Highland Shepherd” by Rosa Bonheur depicts a Scottish shepherd dressed in the traditional highlander attire of the 1800s. As a realist painter, Bonheur painted scenes in her painting from her first-hand experience.
Her monumental artworks in France led to international fame and recognition, and as she traveled to Scotland, she met Queen Victoria en route.
The Queen admired Bonheur’s work, and while in Scotland, she completed sketches for Highland Shepherd. This painting depicts a way of life in the Scottish highlands that was disappearing and had enormous general appeal.
To depict animals, Rosa Bonheur studied at a Paris slaughterhouse in 1845, a regular activity for an animal painter that she was the first to engage in as a woman.
“Helen of Troy” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti portrays the face that was said to have launched a thousand ships. In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy was said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world.
Rossetti depicts a beautiful woman shown in three-quarter length. Her golden robes and long flowing hair are painted in rich glowing tones.
The model’s name was Annie Miller, and her golden, curly locks of hair complement her golden-colored garment. She is a typical Rossettian type, with pale skin, red lips, and expressive eyes gazing into the distance.
Legends of Helen of Troy’s beauty have inspired artists throughout history to represent her, frequently as the personification of ideal human beauty. Images of Helen start appearing in the 7th century BC.
- Name: Kunsthalle Hamburg
- City: Hamburg
- Country: Germany
- Established: 1869
- Type: Art Museum
- Location: Glockengießerwall, Hamburg, Germany
Kunsthalle Hamburg – Map
Kunsthalle Hamburg – Virtual Tour
Kunsthalle Hamburg – Virtual Tour
Explore Germany’s Museums
- The Pergamon Museum
- Neues Museum
- Altes Museum
- Alte Nationalgalerie – National Gallery (Berlin)
- Bode Museum
- Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
- Spy Museum Berlin
- Jewish Museum, Berlin
- Deutsches Historisches Museum – German Historical Museum
- DDR Museum
German Proverbs and Quotes
“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”
– Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Photo Credit: JOM