Arcadia, the mythical land written about for centuries in verse, is an earthly paradise, an idyllic place where shepherds live in utter harmony with nature. This land of blissful contentment first existed on paper, for it is an invention of the ancient poets. The story of their impact on European intellectual history begins in the Italian Renaissance. During this time drawing and printmaking served as perfect media in the dissemination of mythological images and the visual rendering of Arcadian idylls. With the etching needle, engraving burin, and draughtsman's pen, the artist traced outlines of fleeting moments of happiness, capturing them on paper, and seeking, finding, and conjuring longed-for places. Today's exhibition invites you to explore the many facets of happiness in the landscape. The focus of the display is on Italy from the mid-15th century to the early 17th, the era of Botticelli, Parmigianino, Campagnola, and Guercino. The scenes of paradise on paper stretch to some 100 works that present the rich spectrum of this subject. The landscape images of ideal beauty and a mystical, mythical existence are suffused by an intimate closeness to nature and divine sensual enchantment. The images have lost nothing of their power of fascination: humankind has always sought - and found - happiness and existential joy in nature, and that in spite of our expulsion from paradise.
The year 1914 has come to represent a farewell to a golden age in Europe. On the eve of the First World War and before the horrors of violence and war, Arcadia and earthly paradise established themselves as places of longing on the cultural horizon of Europe.
The rich illustrated catalog is published by Michael Imhof Verlag and available in the exhibition or online.
Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Tue 10:00 - 18:00
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 18:00
Fri 10:00 - 18:00
Sat 11:00 - 18:00
Opening times on public holidays Plan your visit
Last admission and ticket sales 30 minutes before closing time.
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