Het is zomer!  

Eventful Summer at the Museum Barberini

Dutch artists saw the works of the Barbizon painters during their travels to France and were inspired by outdoor painting. The exhibition “Clouds and Light. Impressionism in Holland” is dedicated to this inspiring dialogue.  

All art enthusiasts, architecture and photography fans as well as street artists are cordially invited to choose from a rich programme of events and mediation: In holiday workshops, cyanotypes will be produced, impressionist pictures painted, graffiti sprayed and printing techniques experimented with. The art on display in the Museum Barberini serves as inspiration for their own works. Every Sunday, the museum hosts exciting introductory lectures for the whole family and great children’s art activities on the weekends. 

There May Be a Great Fire in Our Soul. Ulrich Matthes is Reading Vincent van Gogh.  

In a letter to his brother Theo in August 1882, Vincent van Gogh expressed a desire to capture the essence of the forest, “that you can breathe and walk around in it – and smell the forest.” Like the French Impressionists in the forest of Fontainebleau, Dutch artists were already painting the light breaking through the trees in the forest of Oosterbeek from about 1850. Van Gogh’s letters are moving documents of self-questioning and the struggle for artistic expression. They allow us to participate directly in the fate and creative process of the painter. Hardly any other artist can be approached more closely than van Gogh in his letters. The exhibition “Clouds and Light. Impressionism in Holland” shows four of his early paintings. Ulrich Matthes reads selected letters by van Gogh from his Dutch period (1880-1885). 

Impressionism and Secessions 

The joint guided tours with the Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin will also encourage dialogue. The exhibition “Secessions: Klimt, Stuck, Liebermann” at the Alte Nationalgalerie, offers a comparison between the three art capitals Munich, Vienna and Berlin at the turn of the 20th century. With the dawn of modernism, the artistic avant-gardes pushed for freedom in terms of content and institutions. Numerous artists of the new art movements Symbolism, Art Nouveau and Impressionism were first presented at the highly regarded Secession exhibitions.  

In the Museum Barberini, works of Dutch Impressionism meet one of the most important collections of Impressionist art. The combined tour through both museums shows how the Impressionist movement, starting in France, became the basis for artistic development throughout Europe. 

Book Launch “Gstaad” with best-selling author Arnon Grunberg 

The early masterpiece Gstaad by the Dutch bestselling author Arnon Grunberg will be published in German for the first time in September in the series “Die Andere Bibliothek” by Aufbauverlag. In cooperation with the Potsdam City and State Library, the Museum Barberini invites you to a book presentation with the author Arnon Grunberg on September 9, 2023.   

In the context of the exhibition “Clouds and Light. Impressionism in Holland” at the Museum Barberini and this year’s thematic focus “Holland in Potsdam”, editor Julia Franck will introduce the work and the author.     

People who can become nothing must become what they play. For the young François Lepeltier, who here seemingly carelessly spills out his life story, this is the essence of survival. François is raised by his mother, a chambermaid with kleptomaniac tendencies, in the Sonnenhügel boarding house in Baden-Baden. In Stuttgart, he pretends to be a dentist before succeeding as a porter and ski instructor – stages on the way to the pinnacle of his career: François becomes a sommelier at the posh Palace Hotel, high up in the mountains of Gstaad in Switzerland. But he who has climbed so high can only fall. In the guise of a picaresque novel, Arnon Grünberg takes a deep look into human abysses. The result is a pitch-black, sarcastic novel that makes its readers laugh and shudder by turns.   

More information on the exhibition, audio tours, expert videos and the complete event program can be found on the website of the Museum Barberini.


Header Image: Photo: Museum Barberini, Henry Freitag
Women in front of the painting │ Photo: Henry Freitag
Portrait Ulrich Matthes │ Photo: Flo Nitsch
Portrait Arnon Grünberg │ Photo: Sander Voerman