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Johann Erdmann Hummel, The granite bowl in the Berlin Lustgarten, 1831, oil on canvas, 65,5 x 87,5 cm, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie. Photo by Jörg P. Anders

Johann Erdmann Hummel’s artistic work was unique in its time. Sober objectivity on the one hand and a joy of detail going into the transcendent on the other hand distinguish his work. No other contemporary artist had refined reflections, spatial nesting and magical lighting such an interest as Hummel. 

The master’s artfully constructed compositions, which sometimes appear enigmatic and over-realistic, impress with their graphic clarity and finely felt colorism. In their exaggerated representation of the visible, they point ahead to modernism, such as the New Objectivity. In 1800, the Kassel-born artist (1769-1852) came to Berlin. There, in 1809, he received a professorship in perspective, optics and architecture at the Berlin Academy of Arts. His teaching, research and publications on the laws of visual perception were nationally and internationally trend-setting. 

Hummel created an extensive and highly diverse painterly work. Portraits are found in it as well as figure scenes in interior and exterior spaces, landscapes and nature studies. Hugo von Tschudi acquired three major works by Hummel for the National Gallery beginning in 1904: The Game of Chess, The Grinding of the Granite Bowl, and The Granite Bowl in the Berlin Pleasure Garden. In 1906 Tschudi presented the hitherto forgotten painter at the National Gallery’s legendary Century Exhibition. The real rediscovery, however, was to take place there in the 1920s. When the New Objectivity with its return to the world of the visible established itself as a leading art movement, Ludwig Justi honored the artist in 1924 at the National Gallery with a “memorial exhibition”.

Around a century after the rediscovery of Hummel by Justi, the Alte Nationalgalerie, starting from its own holdings, dedicates a long overdue exhibition to the artist who, despite his importance, has been little recognized and hardly published until today. About 45 paintings and 50 drawings by Hummel are shown, as well as some selected works of the New Objectivity..

Plan your visit


Alte Nationalgalerie
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Museumsinsel Berlin
Bodestraße 1-3
10178 Berlin


22. October 2021 – 20. February 2022


Regular: 12 Euro
Reduced: 6 Euro

Entry including permanent collection


U-Bahn U5 (Museumsinsel)
U6 (Friedrichstraße)

S-Bahn S1, S2, S25, S 26 (Friedrichstraße);
S3, S5, S7, S9 (Hackescher Markt)
Tram M1, 12 (Am Kupfergraben);
Bus M4, M5, M6 (Hackeschen Markt)
Bus TX (Staatsoper); 100, 200 (Lustgarten)
147 (Friedrichstraße)


10 – 6 pm
10 – 6 pm
10 – 6 pm
10 – 6 pm
10 – 6 pm
10 – 6 pm

Christmas Eve (Fri. 24.12.) closed
Christmas Day (Sat. 25.12.) 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
2nd Christmas Day (Sun. 26.12.) 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
New Year’s Eve (Fri 31.12.2021): closed
New Year (Sat 01.01.2022): 12 – 6 pm

Johann Erdmann Hummel, In the park of Buch castle, 1836, oil on canvas, 44 x 55,5 cm, Nationalgalerie / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Education and Outreach

Guided Tours

Bookable guided tours for groups.

Visit the special exhibition with your close family or friends. An art mediator will accompany you on your individual tour. In a personal conversation, you will learn details about the exhibited works, the exhibition concept, and the historical background. The offer can be booked individually. Secure your desired date!


Duration: 60 minutes.

German: 90 € plus admission.

English: 100 € plus admission.

Other foreign languages are possible on request.

Max. 10 persons.

Required: negative test result, complete vaccination or recovery.

Information and booking:

Tel 030 266 42 42

Public guided tours for individual visitors.

Optics – Perspective – Construction

Sa / 2 pm

The work of the painter Johann Erdmann Hummel is characterized by an interest in optical phenomena such as reflections and shadows, as well as perspective and construction. In the exhibition talk you will learn details about the exhibited works of the painter, who despite his importance until today is little perceived..

Participation fee including admission: 15 €.

Participation fee with valid admission ticket (annual pass, support association, ICOM etc.): 10 €.

Limited number of participants.

Online booking required:

Meeting point: box office / information.

Required: negative test result, full vaccination or recovery.

Special events and workshops

Curator’s tour.

The Special Look: Magical Reflections – Johann Erdmann Hummel

Fri / 4 pm / 11/19, 12/17/2021, 1/21/2022

For the first time since 1924, the Alte Nationalgalerie is dedicating an extensive exhibition to the painter Johann Erdmann Hummel. Josephine Hein and Birgit Verwiebe report on the exhibition from a curatorial perspective. Ask your questions and come into the conversation.

Participation fee including admission: 15 €.

Participation fee with valid admission ticket (annual pass, sponsoring association, ICOM etc.): 10 €.

Limited number of participants.

Online booking required:

Meeting point: box office / information.

Required: negative test result, full vaccination or recovery.


One to one.

Sun / 2 – 4 p.m. / Oct. 24, Oct. 31, Nov. 7, Nov. 14, Nov. 21, Nov. 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 19, Dec. 26, 2021

Art mediators* invite you to extraordinary dialogues in the special exhibition “Magische Spiegelungen – Johann Erdmann Hummel” in the Alte Nationalgalerie. The applicable distance regulation becomes a format here. Be on the lookout! You will find your contact person*s in the exhibition rooms.

Participation fee: Free with admission ticket.

Limited number of participants.

Please book an online admission ticket for the time of the event.

Corona protective measures

Corona protection measures.

The 2G regulation is in effect for visits to Staatliche Museen zu Berlin venues from Monday, 15 November. This means that visitors will only be allowed to enter the museums upon presentation of a digitally readable vaccination or recovery certificate. Please show your digitally readable certificate together with a valid photo ID at the entrance control on site.

The 2G regulation does not apply to individuals under 18 years of age, who may also present an officially recognised negative coronavirus test result applicable for the time of the visit. This exception also applies to persons who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. These individuals must present an officially recognised negative test result applicable for the time of the visit as well a medical certificate stating the contraindication for the coronavirus vaccination. Instead of a negative test result, school children from Berlin and Brandenburg need only present their student ID.

Visitors aged 6 years and over are required to wear a medical mask or FFP2 face mask in all indoor areas of the museums and to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from other people.

The latest information at:

Online tickets and time slot tickets.

Visiting the museums is only possible with a time slot ticket, which should be booked online in advance if possible:

Remaining tickets can also be purchased on site at the ticket offices.

Tickets will be released for advance sale for 14 days at a time.

Children and adolescents up to 18 years, accompanying persons of severely disabled people, holders of annual passes, press, ICOM or DMB passes, as well as members of Friends or Supporting Associations of the National Museums in Berlin are asked to book a free time slot online and to show the corresponding ID at the entrance without being asked..

Further Information

Information and booking.

State Museums of Berlin.

Education, outreach, visitor services.

Tel.: +49 30 266 42 42 (Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Education and outreach at the National Museums in Berlin.

The Education, Outreach, and Visitor Services Department is the central educational institution of the National Museums in Berlin and as such is entrusted with the conception and implementation of offerings in all 15 collections. With a diverse range of events, the National Museums in Berlin address different user groups: Children and families, young people and adults, day care centers, schools, universities and other educational institutions, individual visitors and visitor groups.

You can currently find the entire education and outreach program of the National Museums in Berlin at:


Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Education, Outreach and Visitor Services
Tel +49 (0) 30 266 42 42 42 (Mo-Fr, 9-16 Uhr)

Find more information about our museum programming via


Johann Erdmann Hummel’s work was unique in its time. No other artist had devoted such an interest to refined reflections, perspective constructions and magical illuminations as he did. The master’s elaborate compositions, rich in detail, impress with their clarity of drawing. In their exaggerated depiction of the visible, they point ahead to modernism, such as New Objectivity. This exhibition catalog makes an important contribution to the rediscovery of the painter, draftsman, and explorer of optical phenomena (1769-1852). The included catalog raisonné of his paintings provides a basis for future research.

Magische Spiegelungen. Johann Erdmann Hummel .
Publisher: Birgit Verwiebe; National Gallery of the National Museums in Berlin.
352 pages, 288 mostly color illustrations, 29.5 x 25 cm, hardcover

Price of the museum edition: 29 euros.

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Alte Nationalgalerie

The Alte Nationalgalerie is the parent building of the National Gallery, whose collection today is also distributed among the houses Neue Nationalgalerie, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum for Contemporary Art – Berlin, Friedrichswerder Church, Museum Berggruen and the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection. Its conception goes back to Friedrich Wilhelm IV.  It was ceremoniously opened on March 22, 1876, the birthday of Emperor Wilhelm I, as the third museum on the Spree Island.

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The exhibition Magische Spiegelungen. Johann Erdmann Hummel at the National Gallery is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and supported by the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation.

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Johann Erdmann Hummel, Landscape with rainbow, 1841, oil on canvas, 72,5 x 80,4 cm, Angermuseum Erfurt. Foto: Dirk Urban.

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Exhibition Venue
Alte Nationalgalerie
Bodestraße 1-3
10178 Berlin

Information and Booking
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Education, Outreach, Visitor Services
Tel +49 (0) 30 266 42 42 42 (Mon–Fri, 9 am–4 pm)