The Singular Hans von Aachen

Though the show has been up in Aachen for over a month now, I would be remiss not to mention the premier of the first-ever monographic exhibition of the work of Hans von Aachen. The official title, Hans von Aachen (1552-1615): Court Artist in Europe, captures the particular editorial inclinations of its staging: the exhibition is bounded by the artist's lifetiroduction, concerned with his relationship to court culture, and motivated by the agenda of restoring his reputation as a premiere painter of Europe circa 1600. By positioning von Aachen as an itinerant artist-cum-dealer-cum-diplomat active across a variety of major Continental cultural centers, the curators contextualize the artist's practice as new before.

Link to the Exhibition Page

The Specifics:

Hans von Aachen (1552-1615): Court Artist in Europe

Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum Aachen
11 March - 13 June 2010

Castle Gallery Prague
1 July - 3 October 2010

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
19 October 2010 - 9 January 2011


The Germanisches Nationalmuseum, re-imagined and re-staged

As of 21 March, 2010, the Old Masters galleries of Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg have been re-opened to the public following a long period of renovation. Renaissance. Baroque. Enlightenment. inaugurates this new chapter in the life of the venerable Nuremberg institution. The show radically re-conceives the presentation of the “core collection” of the museum, assembling the art of the German-speaking lands from 1400 to 1700 in installations that reflect a more comprehensive view of material culture. That examples of period furniture, decorative arts, and sculpture are exhibited alongside contemporary paintings is refreshing, but is not itself a novel gesture for the museum world. Rather, the novel curatorial contribution here is the incorporation of objects from the Kunst- and Wunderkammer into the period-themed installations. In theory, the arrangement will highlight the idiosyncratic nature of German visual culture and the history of collecting in the region, while remaining responsive to wider trends in curatorial practice. For now, I’ll reserve judgment [and an actual exhibition review] until August, when I can see the new installation and the exhibition in person…

Link to Exhibition Page in German
Link to Germanisches Nationalmuseum English Language Page

The Specifics:

Renaissance. Baroque. Enlightenment. : Art and Culture from the 16th to the 18th Century / Renaissance. Barock. Aufklärung: Kunst und Kultur vom 16. bis zum 18. Jahrhundert
From 18 March 2010

Germanisches Nationalmuseum
Kornmarkt 1
90402 Nürnberg, Germany
0911 1331-0



Pietro Antonio Graf Rotari, Maria Antonia von Bayern, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden

How appropriate that the quiet re-birth of Kunstlust after a long hiatus comes in the form of a post on an equally unexpected exhibition. The Splendor of the White Eagle: Arts and Power at the Saxon-Polish Court is currently on view in Beijing, representing a novel instance of the exhibition of the art of the Augustan age outside of a European context. The show focuses on the art produced during the period of Saxon sovereignty in Poland under the Elector-Kings August II the Strong and August III of Poland. The exhibition's thesis is concerned with the ways in which the art produced under these rulers worked to visually manifest their power for audiences at home and abroad.

While the argumentative thrust of the exhibition initially appears to rehearse an all-too-familiar trope of art-historical scholarship on early modern Europe, bringing the show in Beijing endows the project with a potentially subversive edge. When staged in the People's Republic of China, the themes of authoritarian strategies of the image explored by The Splendor of the White Eagle take on new institutional stakes.

Link to the Exhibition Page

The Specifics:

The Splendour of the White Eagle: Arts and
Power at the Saxon-Polish Court (1670-1763)

8 April - 8 July 2010

Palace Museum, Beijing