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Realms of Imagination

Realms of Imagination

Albrecht Altdorfer and the Expressivity of Art around 1500

The exhibition focuses on one of the most striking phenomena in Renaissance art north of the Alps: the strong wave of expressive formulae permeating art created around 1500. It culminates in the work of Albrecht Altdorfer and other representatives of the Danube school such as Wolf Huber or the Master IP, but we also find similar phenomena outside Austria and Bavaria in other parts of Central Europe.

The show comprises around 140 artworks – among them masterpieces by Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Durer and Hans Leinberger – that document how landscape, history painting and portraiture were re-invented with the help of this new, expressive interaction between light, colour, form and pose, creating a counterpart to the art of Durer based on the study of nature and adherence to a clearly define canon. These compositions are informed by poetry and drama, and unite man and nature to forge a single harmonious whole.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are numerous works by Altdorfer, among them the first-ever landscapes in European art history and Emperor Maximilian’s prayer book with its wealth of fantastic illustrations, the wings of Wolf Huber’s St. Anne’s altarpiece, and sculptures as spectacular as Leinberger’s bronze Madonna from Berlin or the Master IP’s magnificent carved altarpiece from the Church of Our Lady before Tyn in Prague.

This exhibition is organized by the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, the Städel Museum and the Liebighaus in Frankfurt/Main in collaboration with the Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Geschichte und Kultur Ostmitteleuropas e.V. of the University of Leipzig.


17 March 2015
to 14 June 2015

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