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Gemäldegalerie – Vom Canal Grande an die Spree. Die Streitsche Stiftung für das Graue Kloster | 28.06.-29.09.2024

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To mark the 450th anniversary of the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster, the Gemäldegalerie, in cooperation with the Streit Foundation, is presenting a special exhibition of works from the painting collection of the Berlin artist Sigismund Streit (1687-1775), who worked as a merchant in Venice, from 28 June. In addition to important works of Venetian painting, such as those by Canaletto, Giuseppe Nogari and Jacopo Amigoni, the exhibition also includes documents and objects from the Streit Foundation that are relevant to cultural history. They shed light on Streit’s life and work as well as the connection between the Streit Foundation and Berlin’s oldest grammar school.

Image above: Unbekannter Künstler, Die Regatta auf dem Canal Grande, 1759/60, Öl auf Leinwand, 119 x 187 cm, Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, seit 1964 Leihgabe der Streitschen Stiftung, Berlin, Inv.-Nr. Streit.12, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie / Jörg P. Anders

In the post-war years, the Streit Foundation entrusted its collection of paintings, which had been on display in the Berlin Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster (founded in 1574) since the 18th century, to the Picture Gallery on loan. The donation goes back to Sigismund Streit, a former pupil of the Grey Monastery, who travelled to Venice in 1709 after completing his apprenticeship as a merchant. There he was able to establish himself as a successful merchant. Streit set up his first endowment for the Berlin grammar school in 1752 and sent it his paintings in 1758. Streit also donated extensive funds to the grammar school for decades, which were used for teachers’ salaries, student scholarships, the expansion of the library and grammar school buildings, among other things. The fact that Streit, as a banker and merchant, had previously carried out commissions for Frederick the Great in Venice and exchanged letters with him made it easier to set up his foundation in Berlin.

DEEDS.NEWS Gemäldegalerie Vom Canal Grande an die Spree 3
Giovanni Antonio Canal, genannt Canaletto, Der Canal Grande, 1759/60, Öl auf Leinwand, 118,6 x 188,1 cm, Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, seit 1964 Leihgabe der Streitschen Stiftung, Berlin, Inv.-Nr. Streit.3, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie / Dietmar Gunne

Streit specifically commissioned some of the paintings in his adopted home to enrich his Berlin foundation, including four important Venice vedutas by Canaletto, a cycle of paintings depicting Venetian festivals and an allegorical cycle of paintings on education. These masterpieces were intended to carry the praise of the Republic of Venice, which he revered, to Berlin and the Kingdom of Prussia. He wanted a gallery in the school; later his paintings adorned the auditorium of the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster.

The anniversary “450 Years of the Grey Monastery” is a welcome occasion to present some of Streit’s paintings again in their historical hanging. The special presentation is complemented by objects from the Streit Foundation and the collections of the Berlinisches Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster as well as loans from the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and external lenders. The works and documents focus on the life and work of Sigismund Streit, but also on his foundation as part of the school’s history.

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Eduard Gaertner, Die Klosterstraße, 1830, Öl auf Leinwand, 32 x 44 cm, Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, A II 736, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Jörg P. Anders

“Vom Canal Grande an die Spree. Die Streitsche Stiftung für das Graue Kloster” is curated by guest curator Susanne Knackmuß (Streitsche Foundation) in collaboration with Sarah Salomon, curator of 18th century European painting and 17th century German painting, Gemäldegalerie.

WHEN?

Exhibition period:
Friday, 28. June until Thursday 29. September 2024

Opening hours:
Tue – Sun 10 am to 6 pm

WHERE?

Kulturforum, Gemäldegalerie
Matthäikirchplatz
10785 Berlin

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