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National Museum of China, Peking
Sat 2 April 2011 - Sat 31 March 2012
In April 2011 three major German museum bodies - the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen Munich - will join forces with the National Museum of China to present an exhibition on the art of the Enlightenment, to be held in Beijing.
The exhibition reveals the unfolding artistic and intellectual curiosity and openness of mind which characterized this era in European history. It is furthermore the first international exhibition to be hosted at the National Museum of China when it reopens in early 2011 after the completion of an extensive refurbishment and expansion program.
The exhibition falls under the joint auspices of Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, and Christian Wulff, German Federal President. It has been predominantly funded through the German Foreign Office, while BMW Group have also given their backing as a further partner. The exhibition will be accompanied by an event series entitled 'Enlightenment in Dialogue', jointly organized by Stiftung Mercator and the National Museum of China.
With their vast and diverse collections, partly rooted in the rich collecting culture and arts landscape typical of the European Enlightenment, the three German museum clusters make an ideal partner for this project. Nearly 600 works of art, exhibited on 2700 m², offer a breath-taking overview of the artistic spectrum of the arts of the Enlightenment ranging from painting, sculpture, drawings and prints, over crafts and fashion to scientific instruments. Among the highlights are masterpieces by Chodowiecki, Friedrich, Gainsborough, Goya, Graff, Greuze, Hogarth, Kauffmann, Pesne, Piranesi, Tischbein, Vernet and Watteau. A total of nine sections will fix the visitor's gaze on core themes of 18th century art: 'Court Life in the Age of the Enlightenment', 'Perspectives of Knowledge', 'The Birth of History', 'Far and Near', 'Love and Sensibility', 'Back to Nature', 'Shadows', 'Emancipation and the Public Sphere' and 'The Revolution of Art'.
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlung München