Strange Beauty 奇異之美



The German Renaissance was part of the cultural and artistic awakening that spread across Northern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. German artists such as Dürer developed an international reputation, their fame reaching all parts of Europe, while renowned humanist scholars such as Erasmus of Rotterdam, the patron of Hans Holbein the Younger, played a leading role in reviving the study of classical texts in the service of Christianity.

What exactly makes a work of art beautiful? And how can this perception radically alter due to the changing world its viewer is living in? These are the intriguing questions being posed by ‘Strange Beauty: Masters of the German Renaissance’ at the National Gallery.

This collection-focused exhibition takes a fresh look at paintings, drawings and prints by well-known artists such as Hans Holbein the Younger, Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach the Elder – examining the striking changes in the ways these works were perceived in their time, in the recent past, and how they are viewed today.

Paintings such as ‘The Ambassadors’ by Holbein, ‘Christ taking Leave of his Mother’ by Albrecht Altdorfer, ‘Cupid complaining to Venus’ by Lucas Cranach the Elder, ‘Portrait of a Man’ by Hans Baldung Grien and ‘Saint Jerome’ by Albrecht Dürer were highly valued in the 16th century for qualities such as expression and inventiveness. However, by the 19th and early 20th centuries German Renaissance art was receiving a very mixed reception. Some viewers admired the artists’ technical mastery and their embodiment of a perceived German national identity; others perceived these works of art as excessive or even ugly, particularly when compared to works of the Italian Renaissance.




此次展覽通過一種新的視角來審視那些文藝復興時期大師如荷爾拜因(Hans Holbein the Younger)、丟勒(Albrecht Dürer)和盧卡斯·克拉納赫(Lucas Cranach the Elder)等人的作品,從而探討這些作品在當時、在不久的過去以及在當下是如何出現在解讀和審美上的巨大差異的。

荷爾拜因的《大使(The Ambassadors)》、阿爾布雷希特·阿爾特多費爾的《基督出走(Christ taking Leave of his Mother)》、盧卡斯·克拉納赫的《丘比特對維納斯的吐槽(Cupid complaining to Venus)》、漢斯·巴爾東·格里恩的《男子肖像(Portrait of a Man)》以及丟勒的《圣杰羅姆(Saint Jerome)》這些作品的表現力和創造力在16世紀已經得到了高度的認可,儘管如此,在19世紀末20世紀初,對德國文藝復興時期藝術的評判卻是褒貶不一的,有的人欽佩于這些藝術家精湛的繪畫技藝和對於德國藝術家身份認同的共識;而另外一些人則認為與意大利文藝復興時期的藝術相比較,德國人的藝術口味太重,或者說是醜陋的。


.Tips 小貼士

展覽時間:19.2.2014 – 11.5.2014



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