Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Sunday, 2 October 2022

The Donatello Exposition in Berlin

Yesterday I had my first "real" day in Berlin to enjoy culture. 

The days before I had speeded through the city, met a lot of friends, bought some clothes - and though I am used to running around and wore good padded trainers, my back hurt in the evening and I was very tired. 

I had come to Berlin for a week, then got a call from the electric company that they wanted to install a new meter the week after - thus I had to come back three days after returning to Bavaria... 
(I could have stayed in Berlin for the whole time, but in Bavaria I had the chance to meet my friend Anne, who became so ill. One of her daughters had invited me to her birthday, the daughter lives only 50km from my Bavarian second home address, and thus I could come by car, meet my friend - and travel back the next day to Berlin). 

On that day "I paid myself first" - meaning: 

- I went to my hairdresser (who became a friend over the time) 
- and visited the Donatello-exposition: Donatello. Inventor of the Renaissance 
- rewarded myself with a one-year abonnement for Berlin's museums next year 
The Donatello sculptures and paintings were presented in the "Gemäldegalerie" on the Kulturforum, where they're building a connecting plaza.   

The exposition was fine - though it didn't touch my heart very much. 

I loved "Virgin and Child" (ca 1422), which "is one of the very first examples of linear perspective, not only in Donatello's work but in all Western art. The figures emerging from the marble niche seem truly three-dimensional." (text of the museum) 

or this "Virgin and Child" ca 1422 

or this "Virgin and Child" ca 1420 - 23)

Outside I did a few steps and took some photos of the newly renovated Neue Nationalgalerie (building by Mies van der Rohe) , here a dramatic photo in black&white: 

- had a very nice meal at an Indian restaurant near my home 

- bought wristlets (haha, they still exist - these are my first try - winter may become very cold! - and they are so very stylish, artfully created by two sorts of mink - wait, I'll show you a photo: 

- and, after a short (but very necessary rest) I hastened to the Cinema Paris to see a new German movie, "Mittagsruhe" 

Then I bought some groceries and went to bed quite early. 


  1. I wear wristlets when I am typing in winter. Oh, you were too busy for me. I am pleased to know you enjoyed the high art of activity.

    1. I can understand that now, Joanne: I never had wristlets, and it might be that when they warm the blood on such a central point as the pulse it helps to make fingers more mobile?
      After a long time in the soothing nature of Bavaria I was happy to dive into activity - for a while.

  2. ohhh did love the Neue National Galerie? Even if you thought that van der Rohe was a bit harsh in his architecture, I would had loved to have seen the Kandinsky and Miro paintings etc.

    1. Dear Helen, this time I saw the renovated New National Galerie only from the outside (but with the newly bought abonnement it will be next on my agenda). Yes, the architecture is "not cozy" - but next time I will do photos in colour, mellower - and very interesting the building is (and inside the content of course even more).
      This time I was fascinated by the reflections on the huge windows - as you see on the photos.

  3. It's good to live so close to Berlin to be able to pop back and forth as needed, and take in the delights of city life. Your gorgeous furry wristlets are going to be your new favourite accessories I think. I bought a pair a couple of winters ago - no we don't get cold like you do but I have a couple of cropped vintage jackets and they add the necessary extra inches with a bit of dash :) - mine are white and just the faux variety. I do love them so!

    1. Dear Pip - from Berlin to Bavaria I travel by train 4 and a half hours, add half an hour to go from my flat to the Hauptbahnhof - five hours travel is for Germany quite a lot. But yes: as long as the trains are punctual it is ok.
      And as you say: I really live a life of contrasts - checkered as the mink wristlets.
      I see them as accessories too: a plain pullover becomes quite attractive by them!
      Before I always thought of wristlets as "being for old ladies" - at Highschool we had an aristocratic teacher, very slim and always clad in black (generation of widows after the war), and she wore knitted black wristlets - not as accessory but as protection against the not very warm class-rooms (and her low blood-pressure, I think).
      Come to think of it: in Berlin the faux variety might be wiser - but the fur is so sensuous - my triplets put their little faces on it and got dreamy eyes filled with relish :-)

  4. Dear Mimmylynn, oh yes - that day was filled like a cup to the brim! I was very happy.

  5. You combine country living and city life beautifully. As much as rural living is soothing and quiet, the city has much to offer and is very appealing. You have a great balance of both. Your new wristlets look very glam. I've not seen them in the US but would happily make a purchase.

    1. Dear Susan, I try to combine it - but it is not always easy. At the moment "country" gets a bit more of me - due to the triplets, which I "need" as much as they do need me.
      Yes, the wristlets were a very spontaneous purchase, which I do not regret :-)

  6. WOW Britta ..... you did so much ..... no wonder you were tired !!!! Whenever I see any paintings / sculptures of The Madonna and child, I always think the 'child' is far too big !!!! They didn't seem to have a wonderful idea of perspective then or, they wanted to show his eternal wisdom, knowledge and greatness ? XXXX

  7. Dear Jackie, yes, my days in Berlin are most often crammed - I am not as often there as in Bavaria - and many of my friends live there.
    Interesting remark about the "too big children" - often the expression of the face is "oldish" too. In a review about the exhibition a journalist said, that the theme of Donatello is "ambiguity". Well, maybe.