The Beauty of Italian Landscapes

On 1 May 1803, Schinkel departed for his first journey to Italy accompanied by Johann Gottfried Steinmeyer, the son of the Berlin master builder Carl Christoph Steinmeyer. They arrived in Rome on 8 September 1803. At the end of February or beginning of March 1804, Schinkel and Steinmeyer travelled to Naples and Sicily for about four months, the time when Napoleon crowned himself emperor in Paris. Around 15 July they were back in Rome. Two months later, they departed for the return journey. They travelled via Florence, Pisa and Genoa, where both had to remain in quarantine, then via Milan, Turin and Lyon to Paris, where they arrived around 30 November 1804. Schinkel, who already combined Gothic and Romantic, developed his own style, classicism and historicism and above an idealized Italian landscape. His paintings even became more beautiful than the Italian landscape.
The exhibition in the Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie) in Berlin is a part of an ambitious research project, coordinated by the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum for Paintings and Drawings) in Berlin. Not only does it dedicate itself to aspects of Schinkel’s oeuvre regarding the history of architecture and building aesthetics, which hitherto dominate the research activity; rather, the entire Schinkel art universe is investigated, newly appraised and translated into descriptive arrangements of art works with special attention given to the transformation achievements of the early historism period. The visitor enters into an experimental narrative and is presented with an integral view combining diverse art forms and subjects: Architecture, interior design and decorative arts, stage design and perspective images, paintings, watercolours, drawings and lithographs, the buildings and landscapes, views, fantasies and allegories,