The Leipzig Museum of the Fine Arts is one of Europe’s oldest. It was found in 1837 upon the initiative of the local businessmen. These patrons of arts created a charity that funded the purchases of artworks.
This depository of paintings had to change location a few times. First, it was located in the building known as Gevandhaus. After the Second World War it moved to the former Imperial Court building and also changed its name. The GDR government wanted to commemorate the Bulgarian Communist Georgy Dimitrov who was executed for his part in setting the Reichstag on fire. Thus until 1990s the Leipzig Museum of the Fine Arts was named after Dimitrov.
Yet even the Imperial Court was unable to contain the entire collection. So in December 2004 a new building was inaugurated in Sachsenplatz. Today it houses over 3500 paintings and 1000 sculptures, with some works by the old Dutch and German masters: Frans Hals, Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Leipzig’s own most prominent painter, Max Klinger. The museum also houses a comprehensive collection of German 20th c. art.