Set across three connected buildings in Hamburg’s Altstadt district, the Kunsthalle is one of Germany’s most prestigious art galleries and one of the largest museums in the country. It nestles between the two Alster lakes and the Hauptbahnhof and is designed around four different sections: the Gallery of Old Masters, the Gallery of 19th-century Art, the Gallery of Classical Modernism and the Gallery of Contemporary Art.
The Kunsthalle was first established in 1849 when it opened as the Städtische Gallerie, however the rapid growth of its collection soon necessitated a new building. The original red brick Kunsthalle was built in the 1860s, while the Kuppelsaal (domed-hall extension) was erected between 1914 and 1921. The striking Galerie der Gegenwart was added in 1997, having been designed by Oswald Mathias Ungers and stands as one of the largest buildings dedicated to contemporary art in Germany.
The Kunsthalle collection covers seven centuries of European art, including 14th-century North German paintings, 16th and 17th-century works from Dutch, Flemish and Italian artists, as well as French drawings from the 19th century. There’s an outstanding collection of early to mid 19th century German Romanticist art, as well as impressionist and classic modernist works.
Highlights of the Kunsthalle include medieval altars by Master Bertram and Master Francke, works by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, as well as notable pieces by Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas. The gallery of contemporary art also showcases works by modern masters, including Yves Klein, On Kawara and Andy Warhol.