Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (Masaccio)
The Madonna and Child with St. Anne known as Sant'Anna Metterza, is a painting of c. 1424 by the Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio in collaboration with Masolino da Panicale. The painting is in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence and measures 175 centimetres high and 103 centimetres wide; the Virgin and Child, with its powerful volume and solid possession of space by means of an assured perspectival structure, is one of the earliest works credited to Masaccio. But for one, the angels delicate in their tender forms and pale, gentle colouring, are from the more Gothic brush of Masolino; the figure of St. Anne is much worn and hence to be judged with difficulty, but her hand, which seems to explore the depth of the picture-space, may well be an invention of Masaccio. Masaccio's work shows the influence of Donatello in its rounded forms and realistic texture; the ‘Madonna and Child with Saint Anne’ was commissioned for the Sant’Ambrogio church in Florence. According to Vasari, “It was placed in the chapel door which leads to the nuns’ parlour”.
The figure of Christ is that of a realistic presence, rather than a gothic cherub. This is one of the first paintings to display the effect of true natural light on the figure. John T. Spike, Rizzoli libri illustrati, Milano 2002 ISBN 88-7423-007-9 AA. VV. Galleria degli Uffizi, collana I Grandi Musei del Mondo, Roma 2003. Pierluigi De Vecchi ed Elda Cerchiari, I tempi dell'arte, volume 2, Milano 1999. ISBN 88-451-7212-0
The Tribute Money (Masaccio)
The Tribute Money is a fresco by the Italian Early Renaissance painter Masaccio, located in the Brancacci Chapel of the basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence. Painted in the 1420s, it is considered among Masaccio's best work, a vital part of the development of renaissance art; the painting is part of a cycle on the life of Saint Peter, describes a scene from the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus directs Peter to find a coin in the mouth of a fish in order to pay the temple tax. Its importance relates to its revolutionary use of chiaroscuro; the Tribute Money suffered great damage in the centuries after its creation, until the chapel went through a thorough restoration in the 1980s. The Brancacci Chapel, in the basilica of Santa Maria del Carmine, was founded around 1366/7 by Felice Brancacci; the chapel passed to Piero's nephew, Felice Brancacci, who some time between 1423 and 1425 commissioned the painter Masolino to decorate the walls with a series of frescoes from the life of Saint Peter.
Peter was the name-saint of the founder, the patron saint of the Brancacci family, but the choice reflected support for the Roman papacy during the Great Schism. At some point Masolino was joined by the eighteen years younger Masaccio. Masolino left, either for Hungary in 1425 or for Rome in 1427, leaving the completion of the chapel to Masaccio. In 1427 or 28, before the chapel was completed, Masaccio joined Masolino in Rome. Only in the 1480s were the frescos by Filippino Lippi; the Tribute Money, though, is considered Masaccio's work entirely. Over the centuries the frescoes were altered and damaged. In 1746 the upper levels were painted over by the artist Vincenzo Meucci, covering up most of Masolino's work. In 1771, the church was ruined by fire; the Brancacci Chapel, though structurally undamaged by the fire, suffered great damages to its frescoes. It was not until the years 1981–1990 that a full-scale restoration of the chapel was undertaken, restoring the frescoes to their original state.
The paintings had suffered some irreparable damage though the parts that were painted a secco: in The Tribute Money, the leaves on the trees were gone, while Christ's robe had lost much of its original azure brilliance. The scene depicted in The Tribute Money is drawn from Matthew 17:24–27: 24, and when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, said, Doth not your master pay tribute? 25. He saith, Yes, and when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? 26. Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 27. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, cast an hook, take up the fish that first cometh up; the story is only found in the Gospel of Matthew, which according to Christian tradition was written by the apostle Matthew, himself a tax collector according to Matthew 9:9–13.
The passage has been used as a Christian justification for the legitimacy of secular authority, is seen in conjunction with another passage, the "render unto Caesar..." story. In Matthew 22:15–22, a group of Pharisees try to trick Christ into incriminating himself, by asking if it is "lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not." Pointing out Caesar's image on the coin, he replies "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. The painting diverges somewhat from the biblical story, in that the tax collector confronts the whole group of Christ and the disciples, the entire scene takes place outdoors; the story is told in three parts that do not occur sequentially, but the narrative logic is still maintained, through compositional devises. The central scene is that of the tax collector demanding the tribute; the head of Christ is the vanishing point of the painting, drawing the eyes of the spectator there. Both Christ and Peter point to the left hand part of the painting, where the next scene takes place in the middle background: Peter taking the money out of the mouth of the fish.
The final scene – where Peter pays the tax collector – is at the right, set apart by the framework of an architectural structure. This work maintains a heavy importance in the Art History world, as it is believed to be the first painting, since the fall of Rome, to use Scientific Linear One Point Perspective, or, all the orthogonals point to one vanishing point, in this case, Christ, it is one of the first paintings that does away with the use of a head-cluster. A technique employed by earlier Proto-Renaissance artists, such as Duccio. If you were to walk into the painting, you could walk around Jesus Christ, in the semicircle created, back out the painting again with ease. Christ and the disciples are placed in a semicircle; the tax collector, on the other hand, stands outside the holy space. While the group of holy men are dressed entirely in robes of pastel pink and blue, the official wears a shorter tunic of a striking vermilion; the colour adds to the impertinence expressed through his gestures.
Another way contrast is achieved is in the way – both in the central scene and on the right – the tax collector's postures are copying exactly those of Peter, only seen from the opposite angle. This gives a three-dimensional quality to the figures, allowing the spectator to view them from all sides. Masaccio is compared to contemporaries like Donatello and Brunelleschi as a pioneer of the renaissance
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne
Masaccio, born Tommaso di Ser Giovanni di Simone, was a Florentine artist, regarded as the first great Italian painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. According to Vasari, Masaccio was the best painter of his generation because of his skill at imitating nature, recreating lifelike figures and movements as well as a convincing sense of three-dimensionality, he employed foreshortenings in his figures. This had been done before him; the name Masaccio is a humorous version of Maso. The name may have been created to distinguish him from his principal collaborator called Maso, who came to be known as Masolino. Despite his brief career, he had a profound influence on other artists and is considered to have started the Early Italian Renaissance in painting with his works in the mid- and late-1420s, he was one of the first to use linear perspective in his painting, employing techniques such as vanishing point in art for the first time. He moved away from the International Gothic style and elaborate ornamentation of artists like Gentile da Fabriano to a more naturalistic mode that employed perspective and chiaroscuro for greater realism.
Masaccio died at the age of twenty-six and little is known about the exact circumstances of his death. Upon hearing of Masaccio’s death, Filippo Brunelleschi said: "We have suffered a great loss." Masaccio was born to Giovanni di Simone Cassai and Jacopa di Martinozzo in Castel San Giovanni di Altura, now San Giovanni Valdarno. His father was a notary and his mother the daughter of an innkeeper of Barberino di Mugello, a town a few miles north of Florence, his family name, comes from the trade of his paternal grandfather Simone and granduncle Lorenzo, who were carpenters/cabinet makers. Masaccio's father died in 1406, he was to become a painter, with the nickname of lo Scheggia meaning "the splinter." In 1412 Monna Jacopa married an elderly apothecary, Tedesco di maestro Feo, who had several daughters, one of whom grew up to marry the only other documented painter from Castel San Giovanni, Mariotto di Cristofano. There is no evidence for Masaccio's artistic education, however Renaissance painters traditionally began an apprenticeship with an established master around the age of 12.
Masaccio would have had to move to Florence to receive his training, but he was not documented in the city until he joined the painters guild as an independent master on January 7, 1422, signing as "Masus S. Johannis Simonis pictor populi S. Nicholae de Florentia." The first works attributed to Masaccio are the San Giovenale Triptych, now in the Museum of Cascia di Reggello near Florence, the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne at the Uffizi. The San Giovenale altarpiece was discovered in 1961 in the church of San Giovenale at Cascia di Reggello close to Masaccio's hometown, it depicts the Child with angels in the central panel, Sts. Bartholomew and Blaise on the left panel, Sts. Juvenal and Anthony Abbot in the right panel; the painting has lost much of its original framing, its surface is badly abraded. Masaccio's concern to suggest three-dimensionality through volumetric figures and foreshortened forms is apparent, stands as a revival of Giotto's approach, rather than a continuation of contemporary trends.
The second work was Masaccio's first collaboration with the older and already-renowned artist, Masolino da Panicale. The circumstances of the two artists' collaboration are unclear. Masolino is believed to have painted the figure of St. Anne and the angels that hold the cloth of honor behind her, while Masaccio painted the more important Virgin and Child on their throne. Masolino's figures are delicate and somewhat flat, while Masaccio's are solid and hefty. In Florence, Masaccio could study the works of Giotto and become friends with Brunelleschi and Donatello. According to Vasari, at their prompting in 1423 Masaccio travelled to Rome with Masolino: from that point he was freed of all Gothic and Byzantine influence, as seen in his altarpiece for the Carmelite Church in Pisa; the traces of influences from ancient Roman and Greek art that are present in some of Masaccio's works originated from this trip: they should have been present in a lost Sagra, a fresco commissioned for the consecration ceremony of the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence.
It was destroyed. In 1424, the "duo preciso e noto" of Masaccio and Masolino was commissioned by the powerful and wealthy Felice Brancacci to execute a cycle of frescoes for the Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. With the two artists working the painting began around 1425, but for unknown reasons the chapel was left unfinished, was completed by Filippino Lippi in the 1480s; the iconography of the fresco decoration is somewhat unusual.
Holy Trinity (Masaccio)
The Holy Trinity, with the Virgin and Saint John and donors is a fresco by the Early Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio. It is located in Florence; the Trinity is thought to have been created by Masaccio sometime between 1425-1427. He died in late 1428 at the age of 26, or having just turned 27, leaving behind a small body of work; this painting was one of his last major commissions, is considered to be one of his masterpieces. The fresco is located along the middle of the basilica's left aisle. Although the configuration of this space has changed since the artwork was created, there are clear indications that the fresco was aligned precisely in relationship with the sight-lines and perspective arrangement of the room at the time. There was an altar, mounted as a shelf-ledge between the upper and lower sections of the fresco, further emphasizing the "reality" of the artifice. Not much is known about the details of the commission; the two donor portraits included in the fresco, one figure kneeling on either side of the archway, have not been positively identified.
The persons depicted are certainly contemporary Florentines. According to the established conventions of such depictions, it is but not universally, assumed that they were still alive at the time of the artwork's commissioning; the representations in the painting serve as accurate likenesses of their actual appearance at the time when their portraits were created. The leading theories as to their identity favour two local families. According to discovered records of the Berti family, they owned a tomb at the foot of the fresco, it has been suggested that they might have had a particular "devotional loyalty" to veneration of the Holy Trinity. Other sources mention a Lenzi tomb near the altar, with the inscription "Domenico di Lenzo, et Suorum 1426", as well as other Lenzi decorations in the chapel at that time, assume the donor portraits to be posthumous images of Domenico. In the Florentine dating system of that time, the new year began on March 25, it has been hypothesized that Fra' Alessio Strozzi and/or Filippo Brunelleschi may have been involved, or at least consulted, in the creation of Trinity.
Brunelleschi's work on linear perspective and architecture inspired the painting, this is demonstrated within Massacio's work. Fra' Alessio's involvement has been posited more on the matter of the appropriate depiction of the Holy Trinity, according to the preferences and sensibilities of the Dominican order. However, there is, to date, no concrete evidence for the direct involvement of either of these 2 persons, due to the lack of documentation about the exact circumstances of the piece's creation, theories about 3rd party involvement in the creative process remain speculative. Around 1568 Cosimo I Duke of Florence, commissioned Giorgio Vasari to undertake extensive renovation work at Santa Maria Novella; this work included reconfiguring and redecoration of the chapel-area in which Masaccio's fresco was located. Vasari had written about Masaccio, including a favorable mention of this specific work, in his Vite; when it came time to implement the planned renovations of the chapel containing Trinity, circa 1570, Vasari chose to leave the fresco intact and construct a new altar and screen in front of Masaccio's painting.
While it seems reasonably clear that it was Vasari's deliberate intention to preserve Masaccio's painting, it is unclear to what extent Duke Cosimo and/or other "concerned parties" were involved in this decision. To decorate the new altar, Vasari painted a Madonna of the Rosary. Masaccio's Holy Trinity was rediscovered when Vasari's altar was dismantled during renovations in 1860; the Crucifixion, the upper part of the fresco, was subsequently transferred to canvas, relocated to a different part of the church. It is unclear from available sources whether the lower section of the fresco, the cadaver tomb, remained unknown or was deliberately omitted during the 1860s construction work. Restoration was done to the Crucifixion section of the painting at that time, to replace missing areas of the design. While the painting was in damaged condition when rediscovered, it is likely that further damage was caused by the transfer from plaster to canvas. In the 20th century, the cadaver tomb portion of the work was rediscovered still in situ, the two halves were re-united in their original location in 1952.
Leonetto Tintori undertook restoration work on the combined whole during 1950-1954. The painting is 317 cm wide, 667 cm high; this gives an overall vertical-to-horizontal proportion of about 2:1. The ratio between the upper and lower sections of the work is roughly 3:1; the design includ
The Pisa Altarpiece was a large multi-paneled altarpiece produced by Masaccio for the chapel of Saint Julian in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Pisa. The chapel was owned by the notary Giuliano di Colino, who commissioned the work on February 19, 1426 for the sum of 80 florins. Payment for the work was recorded on December 26 of that year; the altarpiece was dismantled and dispersed to various collections and museums in the 18th century, but an attempted reconstruction was made possible due to a detailed description of the work by Vasari in 1568. It was a tempera painting on a gold wood panel, it had at least five compartments organised in two registers, making ten main panels, of which only four are known to have survived. Another four side panels and three predella panels are now in Berlin; the altarpiece's central panel was Madonna and Child with Angels, produced in collaboration with Masaccio's brother Giovanni and with Andrea di Giusto, now in the National Gallery, London. Eleven panels are known as of 2010, they are insufficient to reconstruct the whole work with certainty.
In particular four standing figures of saints flanking the central panel are missing. Vasari says these were the saints shown in the predella narrative scenes: Peter, John the Baptist and Nicholas. In particular it is unclear if these larger saints occupied the more traditional individual framed compartments, as proposed by C. Gardner von Teuffel and others, or stood in a unified field with the central Virgin and Child, as proposed by John Shearman, to be become the usual style in the following decades. Eleven surviving panels of the altarpiece, the only documented work by Masaccio, are in various museums. Scholars hypothesize the reconstruction of the altarpiece based on a complete description by Vasari; the eleven surviving panels are: Upper Register: Crucifixion. Although the panel unnaturalistically represents the narrative against a gold background, Masaccio creates an effect of reality by depicting the event from below, as the viewer standing before the altar saw it. In this way, he attempts to tie the viewer to the scene, to make the sacred accessible to the ordinary Christian.
Now in the Museo Nazionale di Pisa, the panel of Paul of Tarsus is the only portion of the commissioned work which remains in Pisa. It is reconstructed as being one of two flanking panels to the left of the Crucifixion. St Andrew was one of two flanking panels to the right of the Crucifixion and is now in the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the altarpiece's central panel was Madonna and Child with Angels, produced in collaboration with Masaccio's brother Giovanni and with Andrea di Giusto. It was painted in 1426; the panel is in a damaged state and smaller than its original size. The painting contains six figures: four angels; the Madonna is larger than any of the others to signify her importance. Christ sits on her knees, eating grapes offered to him by his mother; the grapes represent the wine, drunk at the Last Supper, symbolising Christ's blood. Although he is an exceedingly babyish baby, the grapes are a symbol of his blood – like the red wine of Communion – which indicates Christ's awareness of his eventual death.
The Madonna looks sorrowfully at her child, as she realises his fate. In many ways the style of the painting is traditional. In other ways, the painting is a step away from International Gothic in the sense that Masaccio has created a more realistic approach to the subject: The faces are more realistic and not idealised; the baby Jesus is more childlike. An attempt at creating depth has been attempted by Masaccio's placement of the two background angels and through the use of linear perspective in the throne. Modeling is visible as the light source is coming from the left of the painting; the Madonna is a bulky figure, deriving from classical models, her drapery has larger and more naturalistic folds that shape her body. Masaccio has used linear perspective to create pictorial space; the vanishing point is at the child's foot. The reason for this is that the work was located above a representation of the Adoration of the Magi, in which one of the magi kisses Jesus' foot. Although the paintings are noticeably different the Madonna is more or less in the same position in both works.
This parallelism is designed to make viewers have the same attitude as the magus when looking at the Madonna and Child. They are imagined to be kneeling in front of Mary, could lean forward to kiss the foot of Jesus. Masaccio has used the overlapping of figures and obj
The Gemäldegalerie is an art museum in Berlin and the museum where the main selection of paintings belonging to the Berlin State Museums is displayed. It holds one of the world's leading collections of European paintings from the 13th to the 18th centuries, its collection includes masterpieces from such artists as Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach, Hans Holbein, Rogier van der Weyden, Jan van Eyck, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Giambattista Pittoni, Peter Paul Rubens, David Teniers the Younger, Johannes Vermeer, Antonio Viviani. It was first opened in 1830, the current building was completed in 1998, it is located in the Kulturforum museum district west of Potsdamer Platz. The Gemäldegalerie prides itself on its scientific methodology in displaying art; each room can be taken in as a single statement about one to five artists in a certain period or following a certain style. The German collection is the finest and most comprehensive in the world, rivalled only by Vienna and Munich, the Early Netherlandish and Italian collections exceptionally comprehensive.
The holdings of Spanish and British art are much smaller. Notable rooms include the octagonal Rembrandt room and a room containing five different Madonnas by Raphael. There are two paintings by Vermeer in the collection, The Wine Glass and Woman with a Pearl Necklace. Other notable experiences include Flemish moralistic paintings which stretch across the north side of the museum, showing an interplay between the religious motives of the artists' patrons and the sensual inspirations of the artists. In the Renaissance section, for example, Caravaggio's Amor Victorious is displayed alongside Giovanni Baglione's Sacred Love Versus Profane Love; the two paintings are connected. The current gallery sits in the southwest corner of the Kulturforum, a modern-styled answer to the old Museumsinsel; the gallery was designed by Munich architects Heinz Christoph Sattler. The building consists of 72 rooms providing a two-kilometer floor. Upstairs the rooms flow around a large central hall, described by the museum as a "meditation hall".
The hall sometimes displays sculpture, but is empty, allowing easy crossing between rooms, somewhere for school parties to sit. There are works downstairs, a gallery devoted to frames, a digital gallery; the collection is arranged more or less chronologically starting from the entrance and moving toward the farthest room. The visitor chooses between southern Italian, art to the left, German and Flemish art to the right. Completing the circuit takes the visitor first forward backward, in time; the numbering system starting on the north side of the museum covers Northern European art British art. A visitor following along the southern side will go through Italian and Southern European art; the main floor galleries contain some 850 works in 53 rooms, with around 400 more in several rooms off a corridor downstairs, which are open to visitors. Unlike most major national European collections, the Gemäldegalerie collection is not formed around the former dynastic royal collection, but created by a process of acquisition by the Prussian government beginning in 1815.
From the first the museum was intended to reflect the full range of European art, giving a different emphasis from that of older royal collections, including the royal collection of Saxony, now in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, the finest German princely collection, which like other royal collections is strongest in Italian art. The collection was first opened to the public in 1830, on completion of construction of the Royal Museum, now called the Altes Museum, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and sited by the Lustgarten opposite the Royal Palace on the other side of Unter den Linden; the paintings occupied the upper floor with the collection of antiquities on the lower. At this point the collection contained nearly 1200 paintings, with a core of 160 from the 17th century collection of Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani, bought in Paris in 1815. An more important purchase was 677 paintings from the collection formed in Berlin by the English merchant Edward Solly was acquired in 1821.
Purchases continued throughout the 19th century, with 345 works acquired during the inaugural directorship of Gustav Friedrich Waagen from 1830–1868, though paintings competed with antiquities for rather reduced purchasing budgets. After Berlin became the capital of the new German Empire in 1871 the funds available increased, purchases accelerated, as Berlin strove to catch up with the greatest European collections. In 1874 the collection acquired the best of the collection of north European art formed by the industrialist Barthold Suermondt of Aachen after his business collapsed; this was handled for the museum by the art historian Wilhelm von Bode, who had joined in 1872, was to be the Berlin Museums' greatest Director. He headed the sculpture collections from 1883 the paintings from 1890, becoming general head of the Berlin Museums from 1890 to 1920. A specialist in Rembrandt and Dutch painting, he made signifi