A special presentation of the Gemäldegalerie in cooperation with the Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
300 years ago, on July 23, 1721, Anna Dorothea Therbusch, one of the most important female artists of the 18th century, was born in Berlin. To mark this milestone anniversary, the Gemäldegalerie will pay tribute to this extraordinary artist and pioneer of emancipation in the fall of 2021 with a focused special exhibition featuring important works from the National Museums in Berlin's own holdings.
The unusual career path of Anna Dorothea Therbusch (1721-1782) began as the daughter of the Prussian court painter Georg Lisiewsky, from whom, like her siblings, she received her first training as a painter at an early age. But as the wife of an innkeeper and mother of five children, her skills in this field initially remained unused.
From the age of 40, she devoted herself all the more energetically to painting, so that in 1767 she was one of the few women ever to be admitted to the most important European art academy of the time, the Paris Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture.
Back in her hometown, she became a sought-after portrait painter and an important chronicler of the Age of Enlightenment with portraits of Henriette Herz, Frederick II and the physician Christian Andreas Cothenius. Works by the great Berlin artist can be found in two buildings of the National Museums in Berlin - the Gemäldegalerie and the Alte Nationalgalerie. From there, they are on permanent loan to other museums throughout the city - the Bode Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts, and the Jewish Museum.
Particularly well known is her large-format self-portrait in the Gemäldegalerie, painted around 1782; in it, Therbusch presents herself as an erudite and elegant person of respect as well as an approachable and wide-awake interlocutor, demonstrating her interest in things and the other person through the book in her hand and the frontal view through the eyeglass.
On the occasion of the 300th anniversary of her birth in the fall of 2021, the Gemäldegalerie will bring together almost the entire collection of Therbusch works from the collections of the National Museums in Berlin in a focused special exhibition.
Supplemented by reference works by contemporaries, a representative picture of the work and professional network of Anna Dorothea Therbusch as well as her time emerges.