Whether calm and modest or wildly moving, large or small, serious or cheerful, sublime or narrative: the sculptures from Antiquity, Renaissance and Baroque in the Semper Gallery at the Zwinger are definitely worth seeing.

Mann vor antiken Skulpturen im Hintergrund
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Oliver Killig
Prof. Dr. Holger Jacob-Friesen, Direktor Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister und Skulpturensammlung bis 1800

[Translate to English:] Foto

The 21st-century visitor encounters a broad intellectual universe in which the various stylistic periods are presented in unusual proximity, so that they are experienced in a new and different way. 

Frau auf einem Betonstein sitzend
© Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Oliver Killig
Hilke Wagner, Direktorin Albertinum

History of the Collection

With a permanent sculpture exhibition in the Albertinum, Dresden, like Paris, is home to masterworks such as Auguste Rodin’s Thinker and Edgar Degas’s Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer. In fact, the Dresden Skulpturensammlung was the first German museum to acquire a work by Auguste Rodin. Georg Treu, directing the museum from 1882 to 1915, was in close contact with Rodin and purchased his bronze Mask of the Man with the Broken Nose directly from the French artist’s studio in 1894.

[Translate to English:] geschichte

Today the collection holds works dating from antiquity, from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, works of Expressionism and works by twenty-first-century artists. The roots of the Skulpturensammlung go back to 1560, when the Dresden Kunstkammer was founded, and later August the Strong founded the “Galerie der antiquen und modernen Skulpturen”. And so, in 1729, antiquities from Rome arrived in Dresden and were exhibited in the Palais in the grand gardens. In 1786, the statues and busts were presented at the Japanisches Palais (Japanese Palace) in a museum exhibition and then moved to today’s Albertinum in 1889. Despite the Albertinum’s partial destruction in February 1945, all holdings with the exception of the large plaster casts survived the Second World War without serious damage. Nearly all original pieces were taken to the Soviet Union, returning to Dresden only in 1958.

Since the completion of restoration and conversion work on the Albertinum in 2010 – work carried out due to the flooding of the Elbe river – the Skulpturensammlung and the Galerie Neue Meister have been presented as one museum for art from the Romantic period to the present. Until 2019 the Dresden antiquities were shown in visible storage displays, until they were given a new home in the Semperbau at the Zwinger in 2020.

Büste eines älteren Mannes aus Bronze
Auguste Rodin, Mann mit gebrochener Nase, 1863-1864 Bronze; Albertinum / Skulpturensammlung ab 1800

[Translate to English:] geschichte

Along with bronze sculptures, the very casts for which Gottfried Semper designed the building in the middle of the nineteenth century can already be viewed there in a dialogical presentation with the Old Masters. More than 5000 casts of ancient as well as modern sculptures are stored in the Dresden Depot, while the mediaeval works held by the Skulpturensammlung are shown alongside objects from the Schloßbergmuseum in the cloister and in the convent rooms of the former Benedictine monastery in Chemnitz.


Circle of Friends

The circle of friends PARAGONE supports the Skulpturensammlung

Besucher in der Ausstellung, mittig eine nackte Frauenskulptur in Rückenansicht


The current publications by the Skulpturensammlung

lesende Frau sitzt zwischen zwei deckenhohen Bücherregalen
© SKD, Foto: Amac Garbe

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