In 1832 Friedrich Wilhelm III commissioned Blechen to paint the palm house that had been constructed to Schinkel’s designs on the Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island). The plan was to make a diptych for the king to give to his daughter, the tsarina of Russia. Blechen made careful preparations for this commission which meant a lot to him. In addition to numerous drawings he made this outstanding study, the sun flooding into the space with its tropical plants and fragrant climate. Waiting odalisques heighten the sense of oriental magic already conjured up by the Indian feel of the architecture.


  • Title: The Interior of the Palm House
  • Creator: Carl Blechen
  • Date Created: 1832/1833
  • Physical Dimensions: w56.0 x h64.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Technique and material: Oil on paper, stretched on canvas
  • Inv.-No.: A I 617
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815114
  • External link: Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist biography: Carl Blechen was a German landscape painter. After an apprenticeship as a banker, Blechen started his art studies at the Academy of Arts in Berlin in 1822. He made various study tours within Germany and spent some time in Italy before becoming a professor at the Academy of Arts in Berlin in 1835. The well known architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel appreciated his works and strongly recommended him for the post. Blechen repudiated Romanticism and was an exponent of a new realism. Considered a pioneer for his brilliant effects of light and colour, many of his paintings are distinguished by their brightness, rendered with a lightness of touch. 'View of Assisi' (1832–35) and 'Palm House on the Pfaueninsel near Potsdam' (1832–34) are among his most famous compositions.
  • Artist Place of Death: Berlin, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Cottbus, Germany
  • Artist Dates: 1798-07-29/1840-07-23

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