Die wichtigsten Ausstellungen werden erwähnt unter Verweis auf das Museum.

More Beautiful than Nature

Balthasar van der Ast (1593/94-1657), Fruits, flowers, parrot and snails. Photo: Suermondt Ludwig Museum

Abundant flower bouquets, fruit, shells, or just a single tulip, the magnificent still lifes by Balthasar van der Ast (1593/94-1657), are nearly unknown to the wider public. The museum presents a choice of the most important paintings by this dutch master. His production was enormous  from the start,  23 dated paintings from 1622 and 1623 are known. He held important commissions, a. o. from the Stadholder’s court in The Hague and from other noble collectors. For many years van der Ast played a leading part in still life painting, until, after 1640, young painters like Willem Kalf, Willem van Aelst and his pupil Jan Davidsz de Heem would take the place at the top of the pyramid and the elder master would sink into oblivion.

The British-French Normandy Connection

Paul Signac (1863-1935), Port-en-Bessin. Photo: Collection particulière © Collection particulière

The exhibition shows  paintings that retrace the history of Impressionism. The 19th century saw the emergence of a new pictorial genre: ‘plein-air’ or outdoor landscape painting, made possible by new inventions, for example the industrial production of paint. This pictorial revolution, born in England, would spread to the continent in the 1820s and over the course of a century, Normandy would become the preferred destination of many avant-garde painters. The region’s landscapes, architectural heritage, beaches, cities, see and the beau monde life pleased and inspired artists. Furthermore, the growing fashion for sea-bathing attracted many wealthy individuals and families. Its popularity was also increased due to its location—halfway between London and Paris, the two art capitals of the period, where British met the French beau monde (afterwards further couth, Côte- d’Azur and the Swiss Alpes).
Following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, British landscape artists such as Turner, Bonington, and Cotman travelled to Normandy, while the French (Géricault, Delacroix, Isabey) made their way to London.  From these exchanges, a French landscape school was born, with Corot and Huet at the helm. In their wake, another generation of painters would in turn explore the region (Delacroix, Riesener, Daubigny, Millet, Jongkind, Isabey, Troyon), inventing a new aesthetic. This artistic revolution truly began to take form at the beginning of the 1860s, in  Honfleur. Degas painted his first horse races at Haras-du-Pin and Berthe Morisot took up landscape painting, while at Cherbourg, Manet would revolutionize seascapes. For several decades, Normandy would be the preferred outdoor or ‘plein-air’ studio of the Impressionists.  The aim of this exhibition is to evoke the decisive role played by Normandy in the emergence of the Impressionist movement, through exchanges between French and British landscape painters, the development of a school of nature and the encounters between artists in Honfleur.

A German as American History Painter

Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868), The Lagune trip of Titian. Photo: Museum im Prediger Schwäbisch Gmünd

Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868) was an American-German painter. Born in Schwäbisch Gmünd (Baden-Württemberg), he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1825,  where his republican  father found refuge. His teacher was the English painter John Rubens Smith (1775-1849) and he started as a painter of portraits. In 1841 he moved back to Germany to study at the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf.  The Naturalism, strict rules for the use of light and the detailed pictures of this Academy became worldwide known when Leutze created „Washington Crossing the Delaware“ in 1851. A small engraving brought him world fame in 1853. In 1857, Leutze painted Titian as artist on the Lagune amidst a renaissance entourage, a reference to his inspiration and admiration for Titian in relation with the rulers of the Renaissance and Washington as new hope of and in the new world. Leutze gave this engraving to his friend and art collector Julius Erhard, who should donate his complete collection, including this engraving, to the Museum of Gmünd in 1886. Emanuel Leutze combined American and European painting traditions in perspective of the famous Academy of Art of  Düsseldorf. This exhibitions shows the works of Leutze from this point of view.

The Academy in Copenhagen

Johan Thomas Lundbye (1818-1848), 1840. The Island Arre. Photo: Collection Christoph Müller

Copenhagen’s small Academy of Fine Arts was at the forefront of developments in European art during the first half of the 19th century, the period 1790-1850.  The ‚golden age‘ (guldalder) of Danish painting is largely associated with the long tenure at the academy of Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg (the Kunsthalle in Hamburg currently tells the story of him), who taught his students the importance of both precision in nature studies and absolute rigour in observations of atmospheric conditions and perspective. A growing groundswell of national sentiment had brought in its wake a new appreciation for domestic themes in art, heralding a new era of Danish painting. It was not only Danes and Norwegians who were drawn to the Academy, but also artists from northern Germany: Caspar David Friedrich, Georg Friedrich Kersting, Johan Christian Clausen Dahl – figures associated in later life with Dresden Romanticism, studied in Copenhagen. The beginning of the Danish-German conflict about Schleswig-Holstein interrupted this cooperation in 1848.  In turn, a considerable number of students from Copenhagen stopped off in Dresden en route to Italy to meet Dahl and Friedrich. The exhibition explores around 40 works Friedrich, Dahl, Johan Thomas Lundbye, Anton Melbye, Carl Friederic Sørensen and others.  who studied at the Academy and in later years worked in Dresden, as well as those of Eckerburg and his students – and features their seascapes, patriotic landscapes, and figure studies. The paintings will move to the Staatliche Museum in Schwerin after the exhibition as an essential part of the Gallery of Romanticism.