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Im Reich der Möglichkeiten – Italienische Zeichnungen des 16. Jahrhunderts

Artists have always drawn to give form to their ideas, to train hand and eye, and to capture pictorial inventions on paper. South of the Alps, this art reached an apex in the 16th century. With this selection from its own holdings, the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett now offers visitors a rare opportunity to discover the breadth and diversity of Italian master drawings of the High and Late Renaissance.

The display features studies for paintings as well as creations that seem to owe more to the artist’s creative power than any concrete use as preparatory drawings. Fleeting sketches appear beside meticulously executed compositions. Together they give a lively impression of the artistic freedom that this medium offers – a true “Realm of possibilities”.

Old master drawings were only rarely signed, so that determining their authorship is a never-ending challenge. However comparing style, technique, and subject matter allows a close approximation of their art-historical context. At the Dresden Kupferstich- Kabinett this evaluation is already fully under way. The exhibition marks the ongoing cataloguing project researching the drawings of the Italian “Cinquecento“ in the museum’s holdings. In addition to well-known works that seldom go on display due to their fragility, the show also features some new discoveries.
Relevant research areas: Western Europe, Renaissance, Etching
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