Guide to Munich Pinakothek, an art that has passed through the centuries

Lovers of painting, no doubt, have heard a lot, and many have even been to the famous art gallery. Pinakothek (Munich) is known far beyond Germany. It is safe to say that art lovers who have not yet visited the attraction will surely dream of doing it – walk through the halls, touch the masterpieces of painting and sculptures stored here. “Pinacotheca” is of Greek origin and literally translates as “storage for paintings.”

Pinakothek building

General information about the Munich Pinakothek. History tour

The Pinakothek in Munich is a landmark where the best paintings are arranged in chronological order, and you can easily follow how art developed and changed by visiting the Old, New and Latest Pinakothek. In ancient Greece, they called the repository a pinakothek for wooden planks and paintings, and also called the part of the Acropolis building in Athens, where paintings were donated to the goddess Athena. This is one of the few places that was available for free visits, everyone could come here and enjoy the works written on wooden boards, clay tablets.

Interesting fact! At the end of the 3rd century BC For the first time a detailed catalog of paintings was compiled.

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Later, the term “pinakothek” meant painting repositories in other Greek cities, and during the Renaissance, so-called collections of paintings open to public access. Sarai Pinakothek in Munich rightfully received the status of the oldest in the world. Here are collected canvases covering the period from the Middle Ages to the end of the 18th century.

Old and new pinakothek building

Interesting fact! The construction of the Munich Pinakothek began in 1826, lasted ten years.

In the first few years after the opening of the museum, the residents of Munich reluctantly went inside, were in no hurry to admire the masterpieces, and with great pleasure arranged picnics and entrances. Unfortunately, during the Second World War, the Pinakothek in Munich suffered greatly, restoration and reconstruction took five years and it reopened in 1957.

The design of the attraction is restrained, ascetic, in the style of minimalism, nothing distracts from the contemplation of the paintings, while the walls are painted in dark colors, this helps to emphasize the color scheme of each masterpiece.

The biggest drawback of the Munich Pinakothek is poor lighting, not enough for photographs. You cannot take pictures with the flash. In addition, the paintings do not always fit in the frame – it is very difficult to photograph a work that starts at the nose and ends under the ceiling. In the period from the 15th to the 18th century, masters clearly gravitated toward gigantomania. Such masterpieces should be considered from a distance of at least five meters.

Sculpture at the entrance to the pinakothek

The idea to establish a Pinakothek in Munich belongs to the Duke William IV, as well as his wife Jacobin. They collected paintings for a summer residence. The first in the family collection were works by the best masters mainly on historical subjects. Works have been written since 1529. One of the outstanding works is “The Battle of Alexander” by Albrecht Altdorfer, which depicts the battle of Alexander the Great against Darius. The canvas delights with the clarity of detail, the richness of colors and the scope familiar to the painting of that time. It was the duke Wilhelm who bought the works of Albrecht Dürer, thanks to this, the largest collection of this master was collected in the Old Pinakothek. At the end of the 17th century, so many works were collected that the monarch Ludwig I decided to build a separate building.

Red hall

The New Pinakothek in Munich is located opposite the Old Attractions. During the Second World War, it was completely destroyed, and then demolished for further restoration. The exposition was temporarily moved to the House of Arts. The new Pinakothek opened in 1981. The building, built on the site of the former gallery, lined with sandstone and decorated with arches, the locals perceived ambiguously. However, the halls with excellent lighting were approved by visitors, architects and critics.

Interesting fact! In 1988, an accident occurred in the Munich Pinakothek – a mentally ill visitor doused Dürer’s canvases with acid. Fortunately, the works were restored.

Exposition of the old Pinakothek

For seven hundred years in the territory of Bavaria, the Wittelsbach dynasty ruled, it was she who managed to put together a collection of paintings that millions of tourists today admire in the Old Pinakothek in Munich. The descendants of the ruling dynasty still live in Nymphenburg Castle, each hall can rightly be called a work of art.

Renaissance hall

Interesting fact! It is impossible to establish the exact value of the collection of the Munich Pinakothek.

There are 19 halls and 49 small rooms open for visiting, where seven hundred paintings are exhibited – the best examples of different schools of painting. A lot of work belongs to local craftsmen and German artists.

Exhibits in the Old Pinakothek are exhibited in halls on two floors of a separately constructed building. The first floor is divided into two wings. Temporary exhibitions are held in the left wing. In the right – canvases of German and Flemish masters are presented.

Renaissance paintings

On the top floor of the Old Pinakothek in Munich, paintings by local, Dutch masters are stored. Fourth, fifth halls are devoted to Italian painting. In the sixth, seventh and eighth halls are exhibited works of the Flemings, and in the ninth – the Dutch. The right wing is reserved for paintings by Italian, French, as well as Spanish masters.

The old Pinakothek in Munich deserves its status – one of the best art galleries in Germany and in the world. The basis of the exposition is the works of recognized German masters who formed the basis of the Wittelsbach collection. The halls adorn the Munich Pinakothek canvases of Dürer, Altdorfer and Grunewald. The works of Raphael, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci are presented in the Italian hall. The works of Rubens and Brueghel on the walls of the Dutch and Flemish halls look impressive. If you are attracted by the mesmerizing landscapes of Lorrain, Poussin, look into the painting room of France.

The works of famous artists

Not surprisingly, every museum will envy the works of the Old Pinakothek in Munich. If initially the paintings fit in one building, then over the years there have been so many that the collection has been divided into three parts. Masterpieces divided by chronology:

  • The Old Munich Pinakothek – the period from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment;
  • New Pinakothek – works of the period of the late 18th and early 20th centuries;
  • Pinakothek of Modernity – the period from the end of the 20th century to the present day.

Good to know! Monarch Ludwig I founded the gallery, as well as a wonderful tradition – on Sundays the entrance to the attraction is only 1 €.

Do not strive to embrace the immensity and examine everything in one day, this is impossible. After a visit to the Old Pinakothek, relax, comprehend what you saw.

Place for thought

The Munich Old Pinakothek welcomes guests daily, except Mondays, from 10-00 to 18-00, on Tuesdays from 10-00 to 20-00. Ticket price 7 €. It is forbidden to carry inside any containers with liquid.

The next stop on our route is New Pinakothek. The exposition in this gallery covers the period of romanticism, classicism and realism. On the premises, strict canvases of the beginning of the 19th century, rebellious paintings of impressionists and cubists are replaced. There are works by Monet, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Picasso. In addition to paintings, sculptures are exhibited at the Munich Pinakothek.

Practical information! The New Pinakothek in Munich is undergoing construction work, large-scale reconstruction. Presumably until 2025 the gallery is closed to visitors. The collection was temporarily moved to the Old Pinakothek, namely to the East Wing. Some of the paintings are also exhibited in the Shaka Gallery.

Wall panel

Now it is time to visit the “youngest” part of the Munich Pinakothek – the Newest or the Present. Four thematic exhibitions are organized here, which are devoted to different areas in art:

  • painting;
  • graphic arts;
  • architecture;
  • design.
Sculptures in the Pinakothek

Here everyone will find something interesting for themselves, someone will be interested in the work of surrealists, and someone will be delighted with the mock-ups of world-renowned architects, well, someone will be interested in the work of designers. All the halls of the gallery are filled with various surprises, original compositions, unusual color solutions are waiting for you.

The Pinakothek of Modernity is the most expensive, an admission ticket will cost 10 €. The gallery is open daily except Monday. Pinakothek opening hours in Munich: from 10-00 to 18-00, on Thursday – from 10-00 to 20-00.

Practical information

The work of Dutch artists
  • Address
  • Old Pinakothek: 27 Barerstrasse (entrance from Theresienstrasse);
    The new pinacoteca is located next to the Old in Palazzo Branca, 29 Barerstrasse;
    Pinakothek of Modernity: Barerstrasse, 40.

  • Cost of visiting

A ticket to the Old Pinakothek costs 7 €. Every Sunday entrance is only 1 €.

A ticket to the New Pinakothek will cost 7 €, on Sundays – 1 €.

A visit to the Pinakothek of Modernity costs 10 € (discount ticket – 7 €), every Sunday – 1 €.

A single ticket gives you the right to visit the three parts of the Pinakothek, the Brandhorst Museum and the Schack Gallery. Cost – 12 €. Separately, you can visit the Brandhorst Museum for 10 € (preferential – 7 €), the price of visiting the Schack Gallery in Munich will cost – 4 € (preferential price – 3 €). Special, temporary exhibitions are subject to separate prices.

You can also purchase a ticket for five visits to the Munich Pinakothek – 29 €.

Works by contemporary artists

Certain categories of citizens have the right to visit the gallery for free:

  • children under the age of 18;
  • students of the faculties of art history;
  • groups of schoolchildren;
  • youth groups of tourists from countries that are members of the European Union.
How to get to the museum

Pinakothek and Brandhorst Museum:

Metro Munich
  • metro: line U2 (station Königsplatz or Theresienstraße), line U3 or U6 (station Odeonsplatz or Universität), line U4 or U5 (station Odeonsplatz);
  • tram number 27, the Pinakothek stop;
  • Buses: No. 154 (Schellingstraße stop), Museum bus No. 100 runs in Munich (Pinakothek or Maxvorstadt / Sammlung Brandhorst stops);
  • sightseeing buses stop right in front of Pinakothek, the parking time is two hours, and runs from 10-00 to 20-00 daily.

Important! There is no parking lot near the sights, therefore it is more convenient to get by public transport.

  • Official website:

Prices on the page are for June 2019.

Useful Tips

  1. Pinakothek is undoubtedly a must-have for everyone who is interested in European painting and wants to broaden their horizons.
  2. Here silence reigns, calmness, nothing distracts from contemplation of canvases.
  3. Pinakothek Canvases
  4. In each room there are places for relaxation, where you can sit down to listen to the audio guide.
  5. Tourists note interesting information that the audio guide provides, in Russian there.
  6. You can have a bite to eat in the cafe, a full menu is presented here.
  7. You can pay at the museum by credit card.
  8. Be sure to leave things in the locker to walk around the halls lightly. If this is not done, the guard will send to the cells, a deposit of 2 €.
  9. Tourists are given bracelets, they need to be kept for the whole time visiting the gallery.
  10. On average, it takes 2 hours to examine the paintings of the Old Pinakothek.

Pinakothek (Munich) is not just an art gallery. Walking through the halls of the museum, you understand that many artists lived many centuries ago, and their creations are a confirmation that life is fleeting and only art is eternal. Each canvas is saturated with the era when it was created, dreams, aspirations, love, hate, life and death are embodied in the works. This is a kind of temporary chronicle and, thank God, that each of us has the opportunity to touch it.

An overview of the most famous paintings of the Old Pinakothek Munich in this video.

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