Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Altdorfer, Jörg Breu – a few of the big names found among the contemporaries of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) active in Austria around 1500 and the decades that followed. In many cases, the works created during the transitional period from Late Gothic to the Renaissance bear witness to a new form of artistic self-conception. The Belvedere is devoting a comprehensive exhibition to this chapter of Austrian art, which thus far has received little attention.
Curated by Björn Blauensteiner.
In cooperation with
At the turn of the 16th century, social and cultural upheavals left their mark on the art of the time. When the achievements of Italian Renaissance art entered the territory of what is present-day Austria, vestiges of a fading Gothic period were still discernable. Caught in transition, works of art gradually began to lose the functions they had served during the Middle Ages, whether it was the preservation of memory, the teaching of the faithful, or the promotion of devotional practice. This led to a growing artistic self-assurance on the part of the masters. Attention was focused on the aesthetic qualities of their works, and they increasingly established themselves as artists in a modern sense. Their works bear witness to a new interest in reality. As a result, mathematical-perspective constructions, meticulous depictions of nature, and portraits with a psychological dimension developed in the territory of present-day Austria as well.
Artists and Works
The exhibition will include works from the museum's own collection, some of which have been elaborately restored for the show, as well as numerous loans from national and international collections; among them, works by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Altdorfer and Jörg Breu. In addition, paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and medals by lesser-known masters will be on view, which will provide for an in-depth understanding of the high standard of production in the Austrian workshops of the time.