At the Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Virtually explore the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) in Berlin with Smarthistory as your guide

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the Alte Nationalgalerie's website

Caspar David Friedrich, <em>Solitary Tree</em> (or <em>Lone Tree</em>)
Caspar David Friedrich, Solitary Tree (or Lone Tree)

An ancient, gnarled tree, not the shepherd at its base, is the protagonist of Friedrich’s landscape.

Caspar David Friedrich, <em>Woman at a Window</em>
Caspar David Friedrich, Woman at a Window

The woman in this painting invites us to share the view out her shuttered window, but leaves us to wonder about her thoughts.

Arnold Böcklin, <em>Self-Portrait with Death Playing the Fiddle</em>
Arnold Böcklin, Self-Portrait with Death Playing the Fiddle

“Everything is illusory and death comes for us all!” proclaims this cheerful self-portrait.

Caspar David Friedrich, <em>Abbey in the Oak Forest</em>
Caspar David Friedrich, Abbey in the Oak Forest

A medieval abbey in ruins, within an ancient forest that predates—and will outlast—man’s creations.

Édouard Manet, <em>In the Conservatory</em>
Édouard Manet, In the Conservatory

The greenery surrounding this couple is lush and exotic, but it’s clear that there’s trouble in paradise.

Caspar David Friedrich, <em>Monk by the Sea</em>
Caspar David Friedrich, Monk by the Sea

In a century obsessed with conquering nature, Friedrich paints a humble reminder of man’s limitations.