Peace Images in Europe 1450-1815: Art of Diplomacy - Diplomacy of Art

1 December 2012 – 7 April 2013

The exhibition "Peace Images in Europe 1450 - 1815" not only reveals the development of the iconography of peace, but also the history of important European art collections. In the graphics cabinet, around 70 works from the Staatsgalerie's graphics collection are presented, with the main focus on 17th and 18th century prints. These high-quality exhibits are complemented by numerous antique coins and modern medals from the Coin Cabinet of the Württemberg State Museum, illustrated books on peace congresses and treaties from the Württemberg State Library, documents on peace diplomacy from the Stuttgart State Archives and pictures of the Congress of Vienna from the Stuttgart City Archives. The aim of the exhibition, which is structured both chronologically and according to iconographic focal points, is to make the topic of peace visible to the public in emblems, symbols, allegories, pictures of events as well as pictorial reports.

The art of diplomacy - the diplomacy of art

Peace as an object of artistic design has a long history going back to antiquity. In addition to the personifications of peace on Roman coins, the closing of the Temple of Janus as a metaphor for the conclusion of peace remained a widespread pictorial motif. The exhibition focuses on peace closings in history and event images, pictorial reports in chronicles and, not least, in very ironic English as well as German caricatures. Peace treaties were spectacular media events. Artists bore witness to negotiations and claimed to depict historical reality; they interpreted peace very appealingly in allegorical form. Peace images illustrate this in many ways in the print media of the early modern period, including allegorical title plates, almanacs, pictorial reports in chronicles, and portraits of envoys at peace conferences. In addition, medals visualise places of peace such as Münster and Nuremberg.

The exhibition "Images of Peace in Europe 1450 - 1815" marks the conclusion of the three-year joint research project "Translation Services of Diplomacy and Media in the Pre-Modern Peace Process". The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded the project until 2012 as part of the priority theme "Translation function of the humanities". The Leibniz Institute for European History Mainz (IEG), the Institute for European Cultural History at the University of Augsburg and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart were involved in this joint project.