Maxim Worobjow, Vom Blitz gespaltene Eiche (Unwetter), 1842
© Staatliche Tretjakow-Galerie, Moskau

Dreams of Freedom

Romanticism in Russia and Germany

“Dreams of Freedom. Romanticism in Russia and Germany” is the first exhibition to present masterpieces from Russia and Germany together, in direct relationship to one another and from a pan-European perspective. It opens up a dialogue between Romanticist art from the two countries of a kind that has never before been attempted.

  • DATES 22/04/2021—08/08/2021

[Translate to English:] Im Zentrum der Ausstellung

The presentation takes its roots in the Crisis of the Subject at the start of the 19th century and the struggle for freedom that accompanied it. The liberalist ideas of the French Revolution swept through Europe just as Napoleon Bonaparte cast the continent under the shadow of war. The conservative governments in Russia and the German states attempted to restrict civil rights. The artists of the Romantic period responded to this time of upheaval with an artistic universe dominated by emotions and rife with revolutionary potential. Their dreams of freedom merged artistic individualism with utopian social ideologies. A new, groundbreaking understanding of art was born with a highly characteristic style discernible in its painting, composition and interpretation of classical stories from Antiquity and the Bible, as well as the most important genre of the era: landscape painting.

© Staatliche Tretjakow-Galerie, Moskau
Maxim Worobjow, Vom Blitz gespaltene Eiche (Unwetter), 1842 Öl auf Leinwand, 100,5 × 131 cm

[Translate to English:] Impressionen

[Translate to English:] Der Konflikt

The common thread running through the presentation is conflict between restriction and freedom, between native and adopted countries, between inward withdrawal and emergence into a new future. Far from the restrictive lifeworlds of northern Europe, Italy became a longed-for destination where it seemed possible to live freely among like-minded people.

© Staatliche Tretjakow-Galerie, Moskau
Silvester Schtschedrin, Grotta di Matromania auf Capri, 1827 Öl auf Leinwand, 35,7 × 46,4 cm

[Translate to English:] Künstler reagieren

The exhibition revolves around the paintings of the Romantic period, including outstanding masterpieces by Caspar David Friedrich, Alexey Gavrilovich Venetsianov, Carl Gustav Carus and Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov. It is based on the holdings at the State Tretyakov Gallery and the Albertinum and complemented by pieces from renowned institutions. The works are accompanied by selected objects related to the lives of the artists and other historical figures, such as Carl Maria von Weber’s baton or the boots Napoleon is believed to have worn during his Russian campaign in 1812. 

[Translate to English:] Die Ausstellung

The exhibition contains numerous links to the present day: This is reflected in selected international idioms of contemporary art, represented by Susan Philipsz, Mathilde ter Heijne, Marlene Dumas, Wolfgang Tillmans, Jaan Toomik, Andrey Kuzkin, Boris Mikhailov and Bill Viola, which are connected to the Romantic period in terms of both aesthetics and content and clearly demonstrate why Romanticism is seen as the beginnings of Modernism.

[Translate to English:] Publikation

publication accompanying the exhibition

Dreams of Freedom. Romanticism in Russia and Germany

edited by Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, State Tretyakov Gallery Moscow, publication date 09/2021, 360 pages, ISBN: 978-3-7774-3582-4, 45 €

Träume von Freiheit
2. venue

Dreams of Freedom. Romanticism in Russia and Germany

The exhibition will be shown at Albertinum in Dresden 02.10.2021—06.02.2022.

Johan Christian Clausen Dahl, Blick auf Dresden bei Vollmondschein, 1839
© Albertinum | Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Jürgen Karpinski

Partners and Sponsors

The exhibition is made possible by

[Translate to English:] Sparkasse

[Translate to English:] weitere

Further Exhibitions


in Residenzschloss

Portrait eines Mannes mit Hut und Vollbart
02/10/2021 —06/02/2022

Dreams of Freedom

in Albertinum


in Schloss Pillnitz

gelber Kasten mit vier Füßen
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