Monday, July 2, 2012

Berlin, the museum Island

Drinking the last rich drop of espresso I made my way to museumsinsel (museum island).  This is indeed an Island, but it's inhabitants are not building boats or even fishing for that matter, in fact they are not human. The museum Island is filled with 4 or 5 top museums, in fact the amount of art and cultural artifacts is astounding.                                                                                                              The first exhibit hall was completed in 1797. The island now houses: Neues Museum, Altes Museum, Nationalgalerie, Pergamon museum, and the Berlin Cathedral. As I approached the Pergamonmuseum I was looking at the massive stairs that greeted one upon arrival. Walking in I was struck by a sense of awe at the reconstructed Greek temple. The frieze of the temple, was an astounding display of the Greek building and artistic talents. Roaming further I caught a glimpse of blue tile and instinct drove me in that direction. I went into a hall that had the most astounding reconstruction I have ever seen in any Museum, the Ishtar Gate. Glazed blue and yellow/gold tiles, images of dragons and bulls the symbols of the gods Marduk and Adad adorn different blue and yellow bricks. Having  been fired in different sections, so put together they form the images. Babylon was a wonder of the world, with King Nebuchadnezzar (605-562) in power and having direct influence for this wonder we now see here, only but a small area is reconstructed as all of the wall would not fit even in this huge area. I went back and forth. I looked close at the texture and mouth of the beasts so formally placed before me. The contrast of yellow/gold with blue tiles tell the viewer these are Gods and a magical combination they do make.





Walking further and from building to building, I encountered the history of the world. I saw images from all over.  Paintings from Dutch masters, Roman and greek coins and pottery that told stories I was more than happy to hear. I traveled from the stone age, ice age, bronze age and even into the iron age.
Near the end of my time on the island, some 8 hours later I found one of my other hidden treasures, the bust of Neferetiti. She now stares at you with only one eye painted,  through a plexiglass encasement. This 3,300 year old painted limestone bust is now a symbol of Berlin as well as Egypt. And one can imagine the heated debate between Egypt and Germany on its repatriation to Egypt.

1 comment:

  1. In a way, for an art-lover like myself, decorating our home is quite easy. I just please myself mostly, with my poor husband going along with most of my choices. I am always collecting beautiful things, like handicraft decorative pieces, little sculptures and hangings.
    And I simply hang lovely paintings in all our rooms. Not all are originals of course, as who can afford many of those.
    I order many prints on canvas from wahooart.com who have a vast collection of images from Western art, that you can choose to make economically-priced prints like this Interior in Aubergines, by Henri Matisse, http://en.wahooart.com/A55A04/w.nsf/Opra/BRUE-5ZKCMX, from there.
    I can choose the frames as well and my orders are delivered quickly to my home.

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