Albrecht Dürer and Lucas van Leyden

Art and life around 1500
15 November 2015 – 3 April 2016

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) and Lucas van Leyden (c. 1489-1533) had a particularly lasting impact through their prints. In 1521, the two artists met in Antwerp, which was not to remain without consequences in the artistic sense. For in direct comparison, Lucas van Leyden by no means proves to be a mere epigone, but rather he takes up Dürer's themes in order to implement them in an independent and often unconventional manner of representation.

The rich holdings of the Graphic Collection make it possible to present an original selection of their copperplate engravings, woodcuts and etchings in parallel. However, the focus is not to be on the well-known and repeatedly exhibited episodes (Passions, Marian Life, Apocalypse). Rather, the focus is on the then new themes that begin right with Dürer's early work around 1495: Lovers and People from Everyday Life.

Thus, these scenes reflect the current interest in contemporary reality and social morality. In turn, depictions of peasants as printed models are highly significant for the development of genre art, especially in the Netherlands. Other topical themes include depictions of saints in the landscape as well as exciting biblical stories in contemporary garb, which are given ever new formulations around 1500. Finally, Dürer's inexpensive woodcut pamphlets reach a wider audience and thus force a media paradigm shift.