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The Power of Transformation

8 Feb 2018–3 June 2018

About the Exhibition

The Städel Museum dedicated a comprehensive special exhibition to Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), the world-renowned artist: “Rubens. The Power of Transformation” comprised about one hundred items—including thirty-one paintings and twenty-three drawings by the master—and explored a hitherto little-regarded aspect in his creative process. The presentation revealed how profound the dialogue was into which Rubens entered with his predecessors’ and contemporaries’ achievements and fathomed the scope of their impact on the five decades of his production. Rubens’s extensive oeuvre reflects the influences of ancient sculpture as well as that of the later art from Italy and north of the Alps, from the masters towards the close of the fifteenth century to the artists of his own day. Frequently, only a closer look reveals how Rubens drew on the work of artists of different epochs: the exhibition offered an opportunity to comprehend the sometimes astonishing correlations in detail. The cross-genre presentation brought together paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and objets d’art. In addition to original sculptures dating from classical antiquity to the Renaissance, the show also encompassed paintings and prints by Rubens’s precursors and contemporaries, among them key works by Titian and Tintoretto, by Goltzius, Rottenhammer, and Elsheimer, as well as by Giambologna, Van Tetrode, and Van der Schardt.

An exhibition organised by the Städel Museum, Frankfurt/Main, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.

Curators: Prof. Dr. Jochen Sander (exhibition in the Städel Museum Frankfurt), Dr. Gerlinde Gruber (exhibition in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna), and Dr. Stefan Weppelmann (exhibition in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna)



Sponsors & Partners

Supported by 
Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain gGmbH, Städelscher Museums-Verein e. V. and Savings Banks Finance Group (represented by Sparkassen-Kulturfonds of the German Savings Banks Association, Deutsche Leasing, Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen, and Frankfurter Sparkasse)

With additional support from 
Georg und Franziska Speyer’sche Hochschulstiftung, the Government of Flanders

Media partner
Süddeutsche Zeitung, WirtschaftsWoche, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, ARTE

Marketing partner

Culture partner