There is a marvellous room at the National Gallery, it is free to go and see and I suggest you do. You can pop in on you way round the various suggested routes the circulate you through the permanent collection. This room houses The Konigstein views, by Bellotto.
They are excellent paintings. There are 5 in total and they have been reunited for the first time, in an while. Konigstein is a massive fortress in Saxony. The paintings were commissioned by the rather fabulously named Augustus the Strong (who was somehow also King of Poland). It still stands and according to one of my fellow visitors you can take a steam paddle boat from Dresden down to the castle, which sounds delightful.
The paintings themselves are large, and depict from various vantages both inside and out the fortress, views of it. In the one above you can see one side, and pleasingly you can just make out that part of it is still being built (or rebuilt).
The paintings are very detailed. The painter is Bellotto, who was nephew and student of Canaletto and you can see the influence in the precise perspective and details of the building. I particularly like the slightly dilapidated nature of the buildings with the faded and peeling paint. The star of this picture (above) for me is the walled garden with the little cupola inside.
I like me a dishevelled building so I really appreciate the water stain on the outside of this imposing looking edifice. The fortress stands atop a rocky outcrop (as you can see from the first and last pictures) and this one gives you quite a good impression of this weird military monastic feeling community in the middle of forbidding Saxon forests.
In this one you can see the blank sheer walls of the fortress almost growing out of the natural rock. It feels fantastical so even more of a thrill to know it actually exists. There are five paintings in all, of which only four are shown here. Maybe they have peaked your interest, in which case shuffle along to see them. Trust me it's worth it.
William John Mackenzie
I am an artist with a specialism in landscapes and still life. My contact details are here.