This section contains an overview of the most relevant exhibitions. Each item is connected to the organizing museum.

Landscapes by Rembrandt

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). The Windmill, 1641. © Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Organised to mark the 2000th anniversary of his death on 19 August 14 AD, the exhibition in Frankfurt presents the stages in the story of Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606–1669). As a painter of exceptional portraits and history paintings he ienjoys world fame. Yet there was another subject that also preoccupied him throughout his career: landscape. The Dutch painter addressed himself to this theme not so much in painting, but all the more intensively in drawing and printmaking. The presentation will feature sixty-two works, including forty-six etchings. The artist’s pure landscape etchings will be supplemented in the show by further works. The latter include etched self-portraits, early etchings in which landscapes are depicted in connection with history motifs and depictions of pastoral scenes which Rembrandt encountered with a perceptible sense of humour. Other prints to be presented are engravings, woodcuts and etchings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525–1569) Domenico Campagnola (ca. 1500–1564), Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1616), Hercules Seghers (ca. 1590–ca. 1638) and Claude Lorrain (1600–1682). Theu will place Rembrandt’s works into the context of his forerunners and contemporaries in the area of landscape in printmaking.

The first Roman Emperor

Augustus as Pontifex Maximus, c. 20 BC. Photo: Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome

Organised to mark the 2000th anniversary of his death on 19 August 14 AD, the exhibition presents the stages in the story of Roman’s first emperor Augustus (63 BC – 14 AD). Augustus was the adopted son and great-nephew of Julius Caesar (100 – 44 BC). His reign lasted over forty years and was the longest in Roman history and the Empire achieved its moment of greatest expansion. The exhibition in Rome shows a selection of approximately 200 exhibits of the highest artistic quality. The show offers visitors the opportunity to track the life and career of the princeps in parallel with the development of a new artistic culture and vocabulary that is still today the very foundation stone of Western civilisation. The visual pivot of the exhibition comprises the celebrated statues of Augustus, brought together here for the very first time: Augustus as Pontifex Maximus, and the Augustus of Prima Porta. This latter sculpture is set alongside its classical model, the famous Doryphoros, the standard par excellence of sculptural perfection in the Classical era. Visitors will also be able to admire part of the bronze equestrian statue of the emperor found at the bottom of the Aegean sea. .
Evoking the flowering of a golden age, the so-called Grimani bas-reliefs depicting wild animals suckling their young are outstanding for their importance and their beauty, and they have been brought together for this exhibition. Also of outstanding importance is the group of the Niobids, an original Greek sculpture from a temple front which was set up in the Horti Sallustiani in Rome under Augustus and which has been reconstructed by setting the two statues from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen alongside the statue of an injured girl from the Museo Nazionale Romano. The sculptural groups, expressing the new Classicism, are matched by such dazzling examples of decorative art as a large selection of pieces of silver from the treasure of Boscorealeand by representations of power in images of the ancient world as a set of extremely precious cameos, that were used by members of the imperial family as personal gifts. The exhibition winds up with an reconstruction of eleven bas-reliefs from a public building originally erected in Campania to commemorate Augustus after his death, telling to great effect the story of a naval clash at the battle of Actium in 31 B.C.

The major French romantic in Germany

Théodore Géricault (1791-1824), female Portrait. 1820. Photo: Wikipedia

The Schirn museum in Frankfurt will hold the first German exhibition exclusively dedicated to Théodore Géricault (1791–1824). It will firmly center on two key sets of themes that the major French Romantic painter addressed: the physical suffering of modern man, as well as psychological torment . This completely new way of representing existential situations, of madness and illness, of suffering and death, bear witness to Géricault’s especially modern thrust, and it gives subject matter otherwise associated with repugnance and disgust the status of profound images that are troublingly contemporary. Treading a thin line between the Romantic love of horror and the unsentimental eye of science, with his images of madness and death, Géricault played a key role in the constitution and visualization of the modern individual. In dialog with the works of his contemporaries, such as Francisco de Goya, Johann Heinrich Füssli or Adolph Menzel, the exhibition expounds how the traditional view of Realism and Romanticism as diametrically opposing epoch-making styles is by no means tenable.

Vienna 1900 in a new Light

The Secession building, 1897. Photo: wikipedia

The fascinatingly complex cultural epoch denoted by the term “Vienna 1900” has long been the stuff of legend. Today, this chapter of design and arts and crafts history—subsumed under the terms of Secessionism and Jugendstil—serves like no other to underpin Austrian identity. But around 1900, the search for a suitable style reflected an identity crisis of the bourgeois class. The entirely contradictory results of this search were tied together by a central characteristic of the modern era: a pioneering desire for expressive individuality. The MAK (Museum für angewandte Kunst) in Vienna now invites visitors to engage in a multilayered examination of the “Vienna 1900” phenomenon. Vienna 1900. Design / Arts and Crafts 1890–1938 adheres to a largely chronological structure: the first room is dedicated to the search for a modern style; the second room features a close look at the Viennese style; and the third room points the way to the International Style. Around 500 collection objects are shown in various thematic combinations that serve to shed light on art-historical and sociopolitical aspects relevant to Viennese modernism. The new Permanent Collection on the “Vienna 1900” theme document mutual effects, making an important contribution towards underpinning a broader understanding of Central European modernism’s development.