Il Bode Museum is one of the museums on the Museum Island in Berlin. The museum was designed by the architect Ernst von Ihne and completed in 1904. Originally named Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum in honor of Emperor Frederick III, it was later renamed in 1956 with the name of its first curator, Wilhelm von Bode.
Closed for repairs since 1997, the Bode Museum reopened on October 18, 2006 after a thorough renovation. Faithful to the philosophy of its director and founder Wilhelm von Bode, who believed in mixing art collections, the museum is simultaneously a collection of sculptures, Byzantine art, coins and medals.
The presentation of the collections is arranged both by geography and by chronology: the first floor of the museum is dedicated to the Byzantine art and the Gothic art of the north and the art of southern Europe, while the second floor it is dedicated to Renaissance and Baroque art.
The Italian sculptures
La collection of sculptures on display at the Bode Museum contains both sculptures from Eastern Christianity, and sculptures from the Middle Ages, Italian Gothic and early Renaissance. Some sculptures by important Italian artists are also on display, including:
- Satiro and Panther, by Pietro and Gianlorenzo Bernini, dating back to 1615 and sculpted in Rome.
- Tarquinio and Lucrezia by Pietro Tacca, dating back to the XNUMXth century and sculpted in Florence.
- Portrait of a Musician by Baccio Bandinelli, sculpted in Florence in 1540.
- Dancer by Antonio Canova, from 1809, sculpted in Rome.
The section of the Coin Cabinet, one of the largest numismatic collections in the world. The range of coins extends from the beginning of minting in the 7th century BC in Asia Minor to the present day. With about a collection of 500.000 items it is a unique archive for historical research.
The case of the bust of Flora
In 1910, it was revealed that a bust of Flora, which was purchased by the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum in the belief that it was a work of Leonardo da Vinci, could actually be the work of the English sculptor Richard Cockle Lucas. Wilhelm von Bode had located the bust in a London gallery and bought it for a few pounds.
Bode was convinced that the bust was by Leonardo; when it became known that the work belonged to an Englishman, the patriotic spirit of Berlin was proud and the German public was happy to have "snatched a great treasure of art from under the nose of the British". The bust, despite the continuing controversy over the attribution, remains on display at the Bode Museum with the label "England".
To consult the possibilities of visiting that offers the Bode Museum the best starting point is the official website, which lists the permanent exhibitions and any temporary exhibitions. The museum opening hours are as follows:
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: from 10.00 to 18.00
- Thursday: from 10.00 to 20
- Monday closed