With nearly 600 works, the Städel Museum has one of the most extensive and artistically significant collections of eighteenth-century Netherlandih drawings outside the Netherlands. From 1 October 2020 to 24 May 2021, the Städel was for the first time dedicating an exhibition to this valuable collection. On display were eighty representative drawings by artists who are hardly known today, but who were often very successful in their time, as well as by art-loving amateurs who drew at a high level. The exhibition brought together preparatory drawings for large-format wall and ceiling decorations by Jacob de Wit, book illustrations by Bernard Picart, Netherlandish topographies by Cornelis Pronk, Paulus Constantijn la Fargue and Hendrik Schepper and atmospheric landscape drawings by Jacob Cats, the brothers Jacob and Abraham van Strij and Franciscus Andreas Milatz, decorative floral and fruit still lifes by Jan van Huysum and his numerous successors, as well as depictions of exotic animals by Aert Schouman and satirical genre scenes by Cornelis Troost and Jacobus Buys. The selected works impressively illustrated the revaluation and emancipation of the drawing in the Netherlands in the eighteenth century, as well as the preference for picturesquely executed, coloured drawings and the repeatedly sought-after examination of the art of the seventeenth century, the Netherlands’ Golden Age.
Curator: Annett Sandfort (Curator, Collection of Prints and Drawings, Städel Museum)
With support from: Stiftung Gabriele Busch-Hauck