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About

Introduction

Outline

With its Online Collection, the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Bavarian State Painting Collections) is making its entire holdings accessible to the public for the first time: that’s 25,000 artworks in Bavaria, Germany and Europe viewable on a single platform! It is now possible to have an overview not only of all the artworks on display in the Munich galleries – the Alte and Neue Pinakothek, the Sammlung Moderne Kunst in the Pinakothek der Moderne, the Museum Brandhorst and the Sammlung Schack – and in the other state galleries of Bavaria (several thousand works in total), but also of works in the museum storerooms (17,000 works) and more than 4000 works on permanent loan from the Munich collections to over 400 sites, some belonging to institutions which are only partly open to the public. 

Every artwork is documented with a photograph, basic information (catalogue/accession number, artist, title, support, size, provenance), and details of its location. The relevant specialist area is also given, to assist with classification.

Information about all the works currently on display is fully up-to-date and reliable. In the case of other works, and works in storage or on permanent loan, the information is usually based on the available catalogue data.

The Online Collection is a live medium; it is constantly being updated and, if necessary, corrected. As in the case of most online publications, the view date should always be included with any information quoted or referenced.

Additional Information

About the illustrations

Because the holdings are so large and so widely dispersed, it is not possible to show all the works in colour. Up until roughly ten years ago, black-and-white photography was the norm at the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, as in many other museums. Since then, black-and-white photographs have gradually been replaced by colour photos, and missing images supplied.

To our great regret, copyright protection prevents us from publishing images of some works by 20th and 21st century artists.

About the accession numbers

The accession numbers are far more than mere administrative reference numbers. They contain important information about the history of the artwork concerned.

One- to five-digit numbers are state inventory numbers. Numbers 1 to 7590 belong to works already in the collection by 1856, when the collection was re-catalogued; the numbering system introduced then is still in use today. By 1900, inv. no. 8170 had been reached; state acquisitions between 1933 and 1945 have inv. nos. 9869 to 10921 (or, in the case of works of sculpture, B 179 to B 258); at the moment, numbers in the 16000s are being allocated.

Gaps in the numbering indicate that items are no longer in the collection: loans which have been returned, works which have been sold, war losses, restitutions.

The most important groups of holdings are:

AK

Endowed by the estate of Alexander Koester

B

Sculpture

BGM

Bayerische Gemeindebank München (now: BayernLB)

EF

Endowed by Sofie and Emanuel Fohn

ESK

Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation

FV

Patrons society: Pinakotheks-Verein zur Förderung der Alten und Neuen Pinakothek

GST

Patrons society: Museumsstiftung zur Förderung der staatlichen Bayerischen Museen (formerly Stiftung des Galerievereins)

GV

PIN. (formerly Galerieverein)

GW

Legacy of Theodor and Woty Werner: drawings and prints

HST

Works placed in the museum’s custody. A highly heterogeneous group of almost 1000 works, of very diverse provenance, is currently under the custodianship the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. Legal title to these works is unclear. Nevertheless, selected groups are published on this website:

a.) 211 works, not consecutively numbered, discovered by the Allies in the Haus der Kunst in 1945. They were registered at the Central Collecting Point and placed for safekeeping in the storerooms of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen at 10 Arcisstrasse (now Katharina-von Bora-Strasse). Owners could be found for only a few of the works. They are ideologically conformist works of the Nazi period. The paintings were only catalogued and photographed in around 1970.

b.) 280 works, not consecutively numbered, from the storerooms at 10 Arcisstrasse (now Katharina-von Bora-Strasse), whose owners could not be ascertained; their origin is unknown. They were not catalogued and photographed until around 1970. Some of them may have been left over when the Central Collecting Point and the trust administration closed, in which case they may be Nazi-looted artworks. It is also possible, however, that they were placed in the museum’s custody during the Second World War by private collectors and, for a variety of reasons, never reclaimed at the end of the war.

c.) With the exception of the Fritz Winter Foundation, no other works placed in the museum’s custody by private owners are included in the Online Collection, since the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen does not have ownership or copyright over them.

HUW

Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechselbank (now UniCredit)

KM

Programm der Bayerischen Staatsregierung für Künstler und Publizisten (Bavarian State Programme for Artists and Journalists)

L

Works on loan

MES

Michael and Eleonore Stoffel Foundation

OG

Estate of Olaf Gulbransson

SAP

Siemens Arts Program

TW

Theodor and Woty Werner Bequest

UAB

Udo and Anette Brandhorst Foundation

WAF

Wittelsbach Compensation Fund (established 1923; formerly the private property of the Bavarian royal family

WAF PF

Wittelsbach Compensation Fund, Collection of Duke (formerly Prince) Franz von Bayern

About the artists’ names

Particularly in the case of Old Masters, changing perceptions and new knowledge are constantly leading to re-attributions. After a time, these are usually revised. This is particularly true of the large number of anonymous works in the collection, whose artists are designated only by their nationality (“German”, “French”, etc.) or by their most famous work (“Master of the Heisterbach Altarpiece”, etc.).

About the titles

The picture titles are not based on a predefined lexicon. The same painting may therefore be known by two or more names. Often it makes sense to retain traditional titles, even when these are at variance with the latest scholarship or do not correspond with what is actually depicted. This must be taken into account when searching the catalogue, especially in the case of the collections’ many portraits. Whatever the artistic quality of the painting, the sitter’s identity may not be known with absolute certainty and corrections may be necessary every so often.

About the dates

If the year is given, it means that the work is firmly dated. For undated works, approximate earliest and latest possible dates are given. Where no date is given at all, this may mean that no consensus on dating has yet been reached.

Materials/techniques

For Old Masters, if no chemical analyses have been conducted to give a clear indication of the pigment binder, as a rule only the material of the support is given. Even where “oil” is indicated, this may not have been the only medium used.

Dimensions

For paintings, the dimensions are usually given as height x width in centimetres; for drawings, prints and photographs, measurements are in millimetres; for sculptures, the dimension of depth is also given. In the case of photographs, separate measurements are usually indicated for the image size and the size of the photographic paper.

Provenance

In this field, the acquisition data are given in a standard set of abbreviations: year, type (purchase, gift, legacy, held in trust, etc.) and provenance. Here, too, there may be more than one version of the provenance but usually any decision to give alternative versions is deliberate. If an item of information is missing, for instance the accession date, this may mean that it has not yet been confirmed by research.

Information about the provenance of paintings from the galleries of the old Bavarian Electoral Palatinate and the palaces in Schleissheim, Munich, Dachau, Neuburg, Zweibrücken (Schloss Karlsberg), Mannheim, Düsseldorf etc., may not include dates. Although these Old-Master holdings, comprising over 4,000 works, appear in the catalogue, they were entered against the year 1923, the year of the State Treaty when the Wittelsbach State Foundation for Art and Science was set up, along with the Wittelsbach Compensation Fund.

In the case of works from monasteries closed during the period between 1802 and 1816 when the German ecclesiastical states were secularised under French influence, the actual places of origin are only indicated if they are known. Some items, for example those from the residences of the prince-bishops, were only catalogued decades after their accession.

“Transfers of government-owned property” have occurred on a number of occasions. They involve works which were at one time under the stewardship of various state institutions and only later handed over to the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. A good example is a group of artworks which were loaned to the University of Landshut in the early 19th century. They were not retained in the central gallery catalogue and were re-entered in 1937 as former property.  

Also belonging to this category are artworks which formed part of the assets confiscated from National Socialist functionaries and organisations. These artworks and cultural objects were assembled by the Allies at Central Collecting Points, where investigations were conducted to determine whether they had been looted, primarily from former Jewish owners. From 1948 the American military government handed over stewardship of these artworks to the Bavarian Minister-President and in the 1950s and 1960s, in accordance with Allied directives, any which had still not been or could not be restored to their rightful owners were transferred to the Free State of Bavaria. Eventually, around 900 of these art objects were assigned by the ministry responsible, the Bavarian Ministry of Finance, to the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen and incorporated into our catalogue. These holdings are currently undergoing provenance research by the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen’s own dedicated provenance research team. If there is any possibility that an object may have been looted by the Nazis, it is entered in the database at www.lostart.de. This database is continually being updated.

See also the section on catalogue numbers.

Location

Information about the location of the artworks is limited to details of the institution where they are to be found. Paintings on public display are marked “on view”.  Works on permanent loan to public institutions (ministries, embassies, municipal institutions, etc.) are simply marked “Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München”, since for obvious reasons access to them is only possible in cases of a proven professional interest and can only be arranged via the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen.

Specialist area

Details of the specialist area responsible for each artwork helps to categorise it in the absence of dates and also indicates where any enquiries should be addressed:

Early German painting                   
1300–1550

Early Netherlandish painting        
1300–1550

German 2                                   
1550–1780

Flemish painting                      
1550–1780

French painting                 
1400–1780

Dutch painting                 
1550–1780

Italian painting                    
1300–1780

Spanish painting                      
1500–1780

19th century                          
1780–1900

20th/21st century                    
1900–today