5 Star Exhibition at Städel Museum Frankfurt, Holbein and the Renaissance in the North

Tuesday, October 31, 2023
5 Star Exhibition at Städel Museum Frankfurt, Holbein and the Renaissance in the North

It was a turning point in the history of art: Renaissance painting. What had begun in Italy developed into something completely new in Northern Europe in the works of the painters Hans Holbein the Elder (ca. 1464–1524) and Hans Burgkmair (1473–1531), pioneers of this singular art.

Its centre was the free imperial and mercantile city of Augsburg, which became the capital of a German—but also an international—Renaissance within just a few decades. None other than Hans Holbein the Younger (1497–1543), one of the German Renaissance’s greatest painters, would ultimately make this art known throughout Europe. From 2 November 2023 to 18 February 2024, the Städel Museum is devoting an exhibition to this fascinating art-historical epoch. For the first time, it will bring together the most important paintings, drawings and prints of Holbein the Elder and Burgkmair in a presentation further enhanced by works of other Augsburg artists of the period from around 1480 to 1530 as well as prominent works by their colleagues active elsewhere in Germany and in Italy and the Netherlands. Masters such as Albrecht Dürer, Donatello, Jan van Eyck and Hugo van der Goes had a lasting impact on the art of Holbein the Elder and Burgkmair. Uniting some 180 important works from leading international museum collections, the show will offer an overview of the various stylistic particularities of Northern Renaissance painting. A highlight of the Frankfurt show will be the presentation of the two masterworks by Hans Holbein the Younger: The Madonna of Mayor Jacob Meyer zum Hasen (1526–1528) from the Würth Collection and the Solothurn Madonna (1522) from the Kunstmuseum Solothurn.

Exhibition view „Holbein and the Renaissance in the North“

Städel Director Philipp Demandt: “The Städel Museum is prized far and wide for its major Old Masters exhibitions. After Rubens, Rembrandt and Reni, it now holds yet another exceptional show in store for the public. The Städel Museum is presenting the Renaissance in the North—a new and entirely unique style of painting that originated more than 500 years ago in the North of Europe at the threshold from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We are celebrating the great German painters of the Renaissance and their forerunners in an exhibition featuring some 130 prominent artworks from the world’s leading museum collections. Famous paintings by Hans Holbein the Elder, Hans Burgkmair and Holbein the Younger will enter into dialogue with examples by Albrecht Dürer, Jan van Eyck, Donatello and many others. One of the show’s key objects will be the Madonna by Holbein the Younger from the Würth Collection, a painting regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of the German Renaissance. Its presentation along with the Madonna from the Kunstmuseum Solothurn in Frankfurt is a chance not to be missed.”

“Around 1500, Augsburg was one of the leading art centres north of the Alps. Among the artists of this period, the colleagues and rivals Holbein the Elder and Burgkmair the Elder were especially prominent. Representing the range of stylistic possibilities encompassed by Northern Renaissance painting, their works would come to influence entire generations of later artists, as we see in the paintings of Holbein the Younger. His exploration of the art of Augsburg was groundbreaking to a degree strikingly mirrored in his early work. In less than ten years, Holbein the Younger developed an unmistakable style of his own and thus attained his rank as one of the sixteenth century’s most prominent European artists”, explains Jochen Sander, curator of the exhibition.

Main Image: Exhibition view „Holbein and the Renaissance in the North“

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Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.

Anna Melnykova, "Palace of Labor (palats praci), architector I. Pretro, 1916", shot with analog Canon camera, 35 mm Fuji film in March 2022.


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