Pinakothek in Munich, exhibitions and photos

What is Munich’s Old Pinakothek

The Old Pinakothek is one of the oldest art galleries in Germany, a collection of masters from the Middle Ages to the mid-18th century.

The Old Pinakothek, built in Munich in 1836, is considered one of the oldest art galleries in the world. King Ludwig I of Bavaria wanted to create the world’s largest museum with a castle-like exterior. There are paintings of XIV-XVIII centuries by artists from Spain, Germany, Netherlands, and many other countries.

Pinakothek collection

The Old Pinakothek houses one of the most important art collections in the world. The gallery contains more than 800 paintings, among them numerous famous masterpieces from Europe.

A collection of early Dutch paintings, including works by Rogier van der Weyden and Dierik Booth, can be found in close proximity to early German art. The Old Pinakothek in Munich contains paintings by Albrecht Dürer’s Self-Portrait 1500 and The Four Apostles, as well as masterpieces by Michael Pacher, Albert Altdorfer and Lucas Cranach. The volume and quality of Munich’s collection of Flemish paintings, which includes works by Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens, make it unique. The museum’s holdings also include The Holy Family of Canigiani, Raphael’s first masterpiece. The Old Pinakothek also boasts paintings by Titian and Tintoretto, Rembrandt and Frans Hals, Murillo and Velázquez, Chardin and Boucher.

Its extensive collection allows us to explore the development of painting from the Middle Ages to the end of the Rococo period. This historical and artistic journey continues with nineteenth-century works in the New Pinacotheque, as well as twentieth-century and contemporary masterpieces in the Pinacotheque of the Modern Age.

Museum features

The museum’s collection, like all of its galleries, is managed by the Bavarian State Picture Collection. More than 800 works by masters of painting are displayed not only in the Old Pinakothek, but also elsewhere in Bavaria, including in the galleries of the palaces of Schleissheim and Neuburg.

Exhibitions in 2018

As a world-class art gallery, the Old Pinakothek is also a place where exhibitions are moribund. More often than not, they revolve around themes drawn from aspects of European painting from the Middle Ages through the 18th century. Part of a long, continuing tradition are small studio exhibitions as well as presentations of works from the museum’s own collection.

Jablonec’68 – First International Silver Jewelry Symposium New Pinakothek 10.03.2018 – 03.06.2018

Ikko Tanaka. Faces. posters New Pinakothek 03.03.2018 – 17.06.2018

PAUL KLEE. Building Mystery New Pinacoteca 01.03.2018 – 10.06.2018

Sketchbook. Tales from the collection of the State Munich Graphic Collection New Pinakothek 22.02.2018 – 21.05.2018

FRITZ WINTER New Pinakothek 03.02.2018 – 10.06.2018

Countries and people New Pinakothek 17.01.2018 – 09.07.2018


Masterpieces of the Old Pinakothek Munich

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) may have been one of the most talented engineers, painters, architects, etc. who ever existed. This painting is also known as the Madonna Litta. In any case, it is clear that the central motif of this masterpiece is the Virgin Mary. The light focuses on Mary, Jesus and the carnation he is holding. The two windows in the background evoke a tranquil, natural landscape that is evenly distributed in the middle.

Most interesting: the finger detail is one of Da Vinci’s best features. Year: ca. 1478/80

“The Holy Family of Canigiani,” Raphael

Raphael’s (1483-1520) style is similar to Da Vinci and Michelangelo. However, this painting includes some elements that set Raphael apart. There is a northern landscape and shimmering colors. The comfort depicted is also characteristic of Da Vinci, but through the gaze and body language Raphael was able to create a sense of peace. The quiet landscape, the shimmering colors and the tranquil figures – the artist depicted complete serenity.

Object 825GTS submarine base in Balaklava

Most interesting: the glances between all the figures. Year: c. 1505/6

“Self-Portrait in Fur Cloak,” by Albrecht Dürer

Once upon a time, a self-portrait was not created at the push of a button, but required a long process of looking in the mirror and drawing what you saw. Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) created one of the most unusual self-portraits in art history.

The bold gaze and placement in the painting give it a Christ-like appearance. A plain background is present at the back, so Dürer gives no indication of time or place. And, since there were no hashtags back then, to give more information the artist used inscriptions.

Most interesting: the inscriptions. Year: 1500

“Alexander’s Battle,” Albrecht Altdorfer

Albrecht Altdorfer (1482-1538) depicted the battle between Alexander the Great and the Persian king Darius III. This painting was made for the Duke of Bavaria, who feared an invasion of Europe by the Turks. He created the piece as a reminder of Alexander’s power and influence on invaded Persian territory.

By including two luminaries at once in his masterpiece, Altdorfer demonstrated how long and hard the battle was. In addition, the huge landscape and thousands of soldiers show the significance of that battle and its scale.

Best of all: the incredible detailing of every soldier. Year: 1529

“The Land of the Slackers,” by Peter Bruegel

In this painting, Peter Bruegel (1525-1569) depicts two of the seven deadly sins: gluttony and sloth. It may be a critique of the first rebellion in Belgium. It seems to be the fictional land of sloths or “Luilekkerland” mentioned in Dutch literature. Everyone there does nothing but sleep. That’s why art historians have called this painting a political satire.

The best part: the legs and the knife in the pig. Year: 1566

“The Abduction of the Daughters of Leucippus,” Peter Paul Rubens

This dramatic painting by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) depicts the rape of the two daughters of Leucippus. The two women were forced into marriage with these men.

All the figures, including men, women and horses, look in different directions and create a jumble of bodies in the painting. These are characteristics of Baroque art, which the painting embodies perfectly.

Most interesting: women’s bodies. Year: 1617/18

“Self-Portrait,” Rembrandt.

Another historical “selfie,” this time created by Rembrandt (1606-1669). This painting is the first of many self-portraits painted by the artist. The 1629 version looks like a ghost. Rembrandt used a minimal range of colors for clothing, hair, face and background. Today, this “selfie” is reminiscent of the popular Instagram caption “woke up like this.”

Most interesting: small strands of red hair. The year: 1629

“Boys with Grapes and Melon,” by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

To portray these two beggarly boys, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1618-1682) used very dark colors. The gloomy background symbolizes poverty, which was frequent in Seville at the time. However, the painting combines the poverty of homeless boys with a moment of joy at food, perhaps stolen. The grapes and melon are illustrated with such precision that they resemble the style of still life.

Most interesting: fruit. Year: 1650

“The Boy Looking for Fleas,” by Gerard Therborch

Gerard Therborch (1617-1681) was especially known for his depiction of middle-class Dutch society. He often used very subtle colors, which is also the case in this painting. The color of the wall blends with the floor, clothing, and other objects in the room. The painting is done in a realistic style that makes the objects look as if they are at arm’s length from the viewer.

Museum Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, photo and description

Most interesting: the detailing of the old hat. Year: c. 1655

“Portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour,” François Boucher

François Boucher (1703-1770) painted many works of the Marquise de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV. This portrait shows her next to books and a desk, thus demonstrating her intelligence. The highlight of this painting is the Marquise’s dress and the careful rendering of all the colors.

The best part: count the flowers. Year: 1756

Tourist information

Entrance: 4 EUR, on Sundays 1 EUR.

Opening hours of the Old Pinakothek of Munich: Monday closed, Tuesday from 10:00 to 20:00, Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00.

By streetcar: Line 27: stop “Pinakothek”.

By subway: U2|U8: stop “Theresienstraße”. U3|U6: stop “Odeonsplatz” or “Universität”.

By bus: Line 154: stop “Schellingstraße”.

Address of the Old Pinakothek in Munich: ul. 27, Munich, Germany.

Parking is not available.

Facilities and where to stay

Museum entrance: The main entrance has a ramp.

Elevators: There are four elevators. All the floors of the museum are accessible.

Chairs and wheelchairs: Folding easy chairs and wheelchairs are available.

Restrooms: Restrooms for the disabled are on the first floor.

Checkroom: The checkroom is on the first floor.

Hotels near the Old Pinakothek: Hotel Konigswache (Steinheilstr. 7, 80333 Munich), das Hotel in Munchen (Tuerkenstr. 35, 80799 Munich), Pension Geiger (Steinheilstr. 1 | Maxvorstadt, 80333 Munich).

Munich Pinakothek – art that has survived the centuries

Connoisseurs of painting no doubt have heard of and many have even been to the famous art gallery. The Pinakothek (Munich) is known far beyond Germany. It is safe to say that art lovers who have not yet visited the attraction, probably dream of doing so – walk the halls, touch the stored here masterpieces of painting and sculpture. “Pinakothek” is of Greek origin and literally translates to “depository for paintings.”


General information about the Munich Pinakothek. History

The Pinakothek in Munich is an attraction where the best works of painting are arranged in chronological order and you can easily trace how art developed, changed by visiting the Old, New and New Pinakothek. In ancient Greece, the Pinacotheca was a storehouse for wooden boards, paintings, and it was also the name of a part of the Acropolis building in Athens, where paintings donated to the goddess Athena were kept. This was one of the few places that was available to the public, everyone could come here and admire the works painted on wooden boards, clay tablets.

Interesting fact! At the end of the 3rd century BC the first detailed catalog of paintings was drawn up.

Later the term “Pinacoteka” referred to the repositories of paintings in other Greek cities, and during the Renaissance period it referred to collections of paintings open to the public. The Pinakothek in Munich has rightly earned the status of the oldest in the world. It contains paintings that cover the period from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century.

Old and new Pinakothek building

Interesting fact! The construction of the Munich Pinakothek began in 1826 and lasted ten years.

For the first few years after the museum opened, Munich residents were reluctant to go inside and admire the masterpieces, but rather enjoyed picnics and entrances. Unfortunately, during World War II, the Pinakothek in Munich suffered severe damage; restoration and reconstruction took five years, and it reopened in 1957.

National Archaeological Museum of Athens

The interior design is minimalist and ascetic, nothing distracts from contemplation of the canvases and the walls are painted in dark colors, it helps to emphasize the color scheme of each masterpiece.

The biggest drawback of the Munich Pinakothek is the poor lighting, which is insufficient for photography. It is not possible to take pictures with a flash. In addition, canvases do not always fit in the frame – it is very difficult to photograph a work that starts at nose level and ends under the ceiling. In the period from 15 to 18 century masters clearly gravitated to gigantomania. Consider such masterpieces from a distance of at least five meters.

Sculptures at the entrance to the Pinakothek

The idea of founding a Pinakothek in Munich belonged to Duke Wilhelm IV and his wife Jacobina. They collected paintings for their summer residence. The first works of the best masters in the family collection were mainly on historical subjects. The works were painted since 1529. One of the outstanding works – “The battle of Alexander” Albrecht Altdorfer, which depicts the battle of Alexander the Great against Darius. The canvas delights with the clarity of detail, the richness of the colors and the scope familiar to the painting of the time. It was Duke Wilhelm who bought the works of Albrecht Dürer, and because of this the Old Pinakothek has the largest collection of this master. At the end of the 17th century, the collection grew so large that the monarch Ludwig I. decided to build his own building.

The Red Hall

The New Pinakothek in Munich is situated opposite the Old Pinakothek. It was completely destroyed during World War II and then demolished for further reconstruction. The exhibition was temporarily moved to the House of Art. The new Pinakothek opened in 1981. The building, built on the site of the former gallery, lined with sandstone and decorated with arches, was perceived ambivalently by the locals. However, the halls with their excellent lighting were approved by visitors, architects and critics.

Interesting fact! In 1988 there was an accident in the Munich Pinakothek – a mentally ill visitor spilled acid on Dürer’s paintings. Fortunately the works were restored.

Old Pinakothek exhibition

For 7 hundred years the Wittelsbach dynasty ruled in Bavaria, and it was they who assembled the painting collection, which today is admired by millions of tourists in the Old Pinakothek in Munich. Even today, descendants of the ruling dynasty live in the Nymphenburg Castle, where every room is a work of art.

Renaissance hall

Interesting fact! It is not possible to determine the exact value of the collection of the Munich Pinakothek.

Its 19 halls and 49 small rooms comprise seven hundred paintings – the best examples of various schools of painting – that are open to the public. Many works belong to local masters and German artists.

The exhibits in the Old Pinakothek are on two floors of a separate building. The first floor is divided into two wings. In the left wing temporary exhibitions are held. In the right wing you can see works by German and Flemish masters.

Renaissance paintings

On the top floor of the Old Pinakothek in Munich are paintings by local, Dutch masters. The fourth and fifth halls are dedicated to Italian painting. The sixth, seventh and eighth rooms display works by the Flemish, while the ninth shows works by the Dutch. The right wing is devoted to paintings by Italian, French and also Spanish masters.

Museum of wooden architecture in Kostroma

The Old Pinakothek in Munich deserves its status – one of the best art galleries in Germany and in the world. The works of acknowledged German masters that formed the basis of the Wittelsbach collection form the basis of the exposition. The halls decorate the Munich Pinakothek with paintings by Dürer, Altdorfer and Grunewald. Works by Raphael, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci are represented in the Italian hall. The works of Rubens and Bruegel on the walls of the Dutch and Flemish halls look impressive. If you are attracted by fascinating landscapes of Lorrain, Poussin, look into the hall of paintings of France.

Works by famous artists

Not surprisingly, the works of the Old Pinakothek in Munich are the envy of every museum. While the paintings originally fit in one building, over the years they became so numerous that the collection was divided into three parts. The masterpieces are divided chronologically:

  • The Old Munich Pinakothek – the period from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment;
  • New Pinakothek – works from the late 18th and early 20th centuries;
  • Pinakothek der Moderne – the period from the late 20th century to the present.

Good to know! Monarch Ludwig I founded the gallery as well as a wonderful tradition – on Sundays admission to the attraction is only 1€.

Do not try to grasp the immensity and see everything in one day, it is impossible. After visiting the Old Pinakothek you should take a break and reflect on what you have seen.

A place for meditations

The Old Pinakothek in Munich warms up every day except Mondays from 10:00 to 18:00 and on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 20:00. The price of the ticket is 7 €. It is forbidden to take any containers with liquids inside.

The next stop on our itinerary is the New Pinakothek. The exhibition in this gallery spans the periods of Romanticism, Classicism and Realism. The rooms alternate between the austere paintings of the early 19th century and the rebellious paintings of the Impressionists and Cubists. There are works by Monet, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Picasso. In addition to paintings, the Munich Pinakothek exhibits sculptures.

Practical information! The New Pinakothek in Munich is undergoing construction work, an extensive reconstruction. Presumably until 2025 the gallery is closed to the public. The collection has been temporarily moved to the Old Pinakothek – in the East Wing. Also part of the paintings are on display in the Shack Gallery.

Wall Panels

Now it’s time to visit the “youngest” part of the Munich Pinakothek – the New or Contemporary. There are four thematic exhibitions, which are devoted to different directions in art:

Surrealist works, models by internationally renowned architects or works by designers. All the halls of the gallery are filled with various surprises, original compositions and unusual color solutions are waiting for you.

The Pinakothek der Moderne is the most expensive with an entrance fee of 10 €. The gallery is open daily except Monday. Opening hours at the Pinakothek in Munich are from 10:00 to 18:00 and from 10:00 to 20:00 on Thursday.

Practical information

Old Pinakothek: Barerstrasse 27 (entrance from Theresienstrasse); New Pinakothek next to the Old Pinakothek in Palazzo Branca, Barerstrasse 29; Pinakothek der Moderne: Barerstrasse 40.

National Museum of Australia, Gallery of Wales

Tickets for the Old Pinakothek cost 7€. Admission is only 1€ every Sunday.

Tickets for the New Pinakothek cost 7€ and 1€ on Sundays.

A visit to the Pinakothek der Moderne costs 10€ (discount ticket 7€), every Sunday only 1€.

A single ticket entitles you to visit the three parts of the Pinakothek, the Brandhorst Museum and the Schack Gallery. The cost is 12 €. A separate visit to the Brandhorst Museum costs € 10 (reduced price € 7), a visit to the Schack Gallery in Munich costs € 4 (reduced price € 3). There are separate prices for special, temporary exhibitions.

It is also possible to buy a ticket for five visits to the Munich Pinakothek – 29 €.

Works by modern artists

Certain categories of citizens are entitled to visit the gallery free of charge:

  • Children under the age of 18;
  • Art students;
  • groups of schoolchildren;
  • Visitor groups of young people from EU-member states.

Pinakothek and Brandhorst Museum:

  • Subway: line U2 (Königsplatz or Theresienstraße station), line U3 or U6 (Odeonsplatz or Universität station), line U4 or U5 (Odeonsplatz station);
  • Streetcar No. 27, Pinakothek stop;
  • Buses: #154 (stop Schellingstraße), in Munich there is a museum bus #100 (stop “Pinakothek” or “Maxvorstadt/Sammlung Brandhorst”);
  • sightseeing buses stop directly in front of the Pinakothek, parking time two hours, runs from 10-00 to 20-00 every day.

Important: There is no parking next to the attractions, so it is more convenient to get to them by public transport.

  • Official website:

The prices on the page are for June 2019.

Useful tips

Paintings in the Pinakothek

  1. The Pinakothek is undoubtedly a must for anyone who is interested in European painting and wants to broaden their horizons.
  2. There is silence, tranquility, and nothing distracts from the contemplation of the paintings.
  3. Each room has seating areas where you can sit down to listen to an audio guide.
  4. Tourists note the interesting information provided by the audio guide, there is none in Russian.
  5. You can eat in the cafe, there is a full menu.
  6. You can pay in the museum by bank card.
  7. Be sure to leave belongings in the storage room to walk around the halls lightweight. If you don’t, security will send you to the lockers for a 2€ deposit.
  8. Tourists are given wristbands and must keep them for the entire time they visit the gallery.
  9. On average, it takes two hours to see the paintings of the Old Pinakothek.

The Pinakothek (Munich) is not just an art gallery. Walking through the halls of the museum, you realize that many artists lived many centuries ago, and their works are a confirmation that life is fleeting and only art is eternal. Each canvas is imbued with the era in which it was created, the works depict dreams, aspirations, love, hate, life and death. It is a kind of time chronicle and, thank God, that each of us has the opportunity to touch it.

An overview of the most famous paintings of the Old Pinakothek of Munich in this video.

Author: Julia Matyukhina

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