Sandro Botticelli (Florence 1445–1510 Florence) was one of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance. After his death he fell into obscurity and was only rediscovered three and a half centuries later. The increasing attention lavished on him and his works reached its peak in the last decades of the 19th century. Botticelli's paintings had not only become the subject of scholarly art-historical inquiry, coveted objects for collectors, and the proud highlights of museum displays, but also the fountainhead of artistic inspiration for contemporary artists. The prints on show in this 'cabinet exhibition' were created against this historical backdrop.
All of the exhibits are fascinating examples of reproductive prints after Botticelli's paintings. Adopting various graphic techniques, artists of the late 19th century reproduced and graphically interpreted the works made by the Italian master 400 years earlier. The core challenge they faced was how to transfer the medium of painting into the medium of printmaking. Botticelli's sophisticated palette is translated into a delicate interplay of black and white, the original monumental "wall power" of his panels is transformed into studies of compositional detail, invitingly rendered at smaller scale. It is important to remember that the kind of reproductive prints on display here also enabled the dissemination of the visual strategies of Renaissance artists and thus contributed to the rebirth and broad appeal of Botticelli for 19th century audiences. This one-room show presents a concentrated selection of works in which artists used variations of traditional printmaking techniques such as etching and engraving to embellish their prints with distinctly painterly qualities. As a result, these works are imbued with a special aesthetic charm and character of their own, which, like the Botticelli originals, stem from the continual reinvention of the beauty of the line.
A 'cabinet show' presented by the Kupferstichkabinett in the Gemäldegalerie.
Address / Getting there
U-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
S-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz
Bus: Potsdamer Brücke, Potsdamer Platz Bhf / Voßstraße, Kulturforum, Philharmonie
Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Tue 10:00 - 18:00
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 20:00
Fri 10:00 - 18:00
Sat 11:00 - 18:00
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