15 February to 13 May 2008
Due to the high artistic quality of its holdings – which encompass thousands of drawings and prints dating from the late Middle Ages to the present – the Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings is among the most prominent graphic art collections in Germany. It was founded in the eighteenth century by Johann Friedrich Städel (1728–1816) and expanded and further developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by Johann David Passavant (1787–1861), Georg Swarzenski (1876–1957) and others.
For conservational reasons, works on paper cannot be displayed on a permanent basis like paintings, but only placed at visitors’ disposal for viewing in the department’s Study Hall. Comprising eighty superb drawings, the exhibition of masterpieces provided an exemplary overview of the collection’s diversity and quality.
The selected works spanned a period of nearly six hundred years: the oldest dated from the early fifteenth century; the most recent were executed in the late twentieth. Nearly all of art history’s most renowned draughtsmen were represented, for example Dürer, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Watteau, Fragonard, Tiepolo, Cornelius, Delacroix, Daumier, Cézanne, van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Kirchner, Beckmann, Klee and Pollock.
CURATORS: Dr. Jutta Schütt and Dr. Martin Sonnabend, Städel Museum