Bruegel and his Time
From 22 February 2023
Sensitively executed light-and-dark drawings, critical moral satires, portraits, and expansive landscapes: virtually no other European place or historical period witnessed such an astounding variety of drawn art as did the Netherlands during the 16th century. It was with the utmost degree of technical virtuosity and with extraordinary inventiveness that the artists of this period depicted an everyday world in the throes of radical change in which the Reformation, the blossoming of colonial trade, and increasing urbanization led to a renegotiation of societal norms. In cartoons for the stained glass windows of imposing cathedrals and private residences, as well as in sketches for precious luxury objects, paintings, and printed graphics, the drawing found a wide range of practical application. Drawing also came to be regarded as a means of artistic expression in its own right, with well-heeled elites increasingly seeking out drawn works as collector’s items.
This exhibition at the ALBERTINA Museum presents around 90 works from the museum’s own holdings that exemplify this incomparable golden age of drawing. Alongside famed masterpieces by Jan de Beer, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and Hendrick Goltzius, the selection will also feature works on paper that are now being prepared for presentation to a broader public for the first time. This project is being mounted with generous support from the Flemish Government.
On view from 22 February until 29 May 2023 at the ALBERTINA Museum, Vienna.
Pieter Bruegel d. Ä.: Die Höllenfahrt Christi, 1561
22.3 x 29.4 cm Feder in Braun, auf Papier
Hendrick Goltzius: Selbstbildnis, um 1593–1595
Schwarze und farbige Kreide, Aquarell, Pinsel in Grau und Weiß, auf Papier
(42.7 x 32.2 cm)
Jan de Beer: Die Vermählung Mariae, um 1515–1520
28.8 x 24.9 cm Feder in Schwarz und Weiß, auf grau getöntem Papier