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Bel Martino, Martin the Beautiful...
Martin Schongauer

01.09.2009 to 29.11.2009


The special show by the Museum of Prints and Drawings accompanies the new unveiling of the section of the Picture Gallery - Old Master Paintings dedicated to German and Early Netherlandish art and also sees Martin Schongauer's painting, 'The Adoration of the Magi', presented in a new light. The juxtaposition of this painting with the famous engravings now allows direct comparisons to be formed between key works from the period Huizinga termed 'the waning of the Middle Ages'. In addition, the collection of Early German and Early Netherlandish painting invites visitors to examine Schongauer's artistic sources more closely, as well as the way he was received across Europe as a whole.

Martin Schongauer ranks as one of the most important and famous German artists of the generation immediately prior to Albrecht Dürer. As an artist, he was inspired by the advances made by Early Netherlandish painting. Schongauer rigorously studied art by the likes of Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Dieric Bouts and other masters who are all superbly represented in the Gemäldegalerie today. Through his handling in his own paintings and engravings of the impressions these masters made on him, he was able to give German art in the last third of the 15th century important new impetus in the rendering of figures, landscape depiction and attention to detail. His work, always highly prized, in a way only served to affirm his name. Thanks to his art, he was dubbed 'Martin Schön' or 'Martin the Beautiful' by his contemporaries.