One of the most outstanding objects of interest in Dresden is the world-famous picture gallery "Alte Meister". As part of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (Dresden National Art Collections), it is located in a wing of the Zwinger, the so-called "Semper Gallery" and exhibits art treasures of international relevance.
Under the regencies of the electors of Saxony Augustus the Strong and Augustus II, the extended collection commenced in the 18th century, which was quickly renowned throughout Europe, due to -among other things- the acquisition of other collections. Today, the gallery exhibits famous paintings from the 15th to the 18th century, in particular those of Italian masters of Renaissance and Baroque, but also Dutch and Flemish paintings of the 17th century.
Apart from many other principal works of art history, other exhibits of the museum include Raphael's "Sistine Madonna", Giorgione's "Sleeping Venus" and Jean-Étienne Liotard's "The Chocolate Girl". Also, Canaletto's view over the River Elbe on the skyline of Dresden is exhibited here, the famous Canaletto-view.
The collection was sourced out during the Second World War. Thus, it was unharmed by the destruction of the city centre of Dresden. After the war, it was transferred to the Soviet Union where it was restored. Since 1956, the paintings have been in Dresden again. Since 1960, they continue to delight art lovers from all over the world in the restored Semper building.
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