Hamburg

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Binnenalster

Time for Kaffee und Kuchen at the Colosseum as I changed trains in Hannover, and I arrived in Hamburg in the middle of the afternoon. I walked to the Kunsthalle for a quick look:

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Like Leeds Tiled Hall, the Kunsthalle has busts of famous artists as decoration. However, unlike Leeds, they don’t return the compliment of having a British artist anywhere, so I shall claim Holbein (top right) for us. There’s a bit of all European art in there galleries, and I was only able to note a little of it.

So: does this offer a taste of how Wells cathedral might have looked inside and out?

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Retable of the former high altar of St. Peter’s, Hamburg, by Bertram of Minden, ca. 1380

There were some wonderfully colourful illustrations of the life of Christ from the 15th century by Meister Francke: you really did get a sense of a story well told. The difference between early Northern European and  Italian paintings: the former are so white and bony! I can find Caspar David Friedrich a bit overwrought at times – Wanderer above the Sea of Fog for instance – but one small landscape – Berglandschaft in Böhmen – I would have liked to take home. There was something about the yellow line of light in the centre. Das Eismeer looked like a precursor to Paul Nash’s Totes Meer. Max Klinger is not always weird. I see why I thought I was getting confused about Max Liebermann’s paintings: he changed styles and moved from Dutch peasants to well-dressed Sunday diners. The more I see of Gustave Courbet, the more I like him. Had I heard of the Brabizon School and forgotten it?

So much to see! I may go again tomorrow morning before the group arrives.

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