It's an enlightening show at the National Gallery of Art, certainly required viewing by every area Renaissance and German student of language and/or German history, with 103 prints, drawings and illustrated books spanning 65 years and providing rich background and renderings about the nation and the widening influence of the Renaissance.
Around 85 percent of the pieces come from the National Gallery's collection in this first exhibition of its kind in the U.S. about Augsburg.
Among its citizenry and leaders, the arts commanded enthusiastic audiences, including that of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519) who spent so much time in Augsburg he was called honorary mayor. The exhibition exemplifies his dominance in the city which housed seven convents.
A "must see" in the show, especially for tempted lovers, is Death interrupting a couple and seizing the man’s entrails from his throat and hanging on to the woman’s skirt with his teeth as she tries to flee. For new material, movie producers of horror should have a look. Gruesome
Where is a rendering of a man admiring his own person in the looking glass while Death lurks in the background? Perhaps a female artist of the period would have reversed the gender of the subject, had she been allowed.
Daniel Hopfer (c. 1470-1536), Woman and Attendant Surprised by Death, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Elisha Whittelsey Collection
Is there a Woman's Bible as in Adam was the one who communicated with the snake and ate the apple, and Jesus and other leading figures were women? In 1895 and 1896 a Woman's Bible was published by crusaders Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, and Susan B. Anthony challenging the traditional orthodoxy that women should be subservient to men. Not exactly what I am thinking about, but it's time for a new edition where men are subservient to women. Let the Renaissance of Women flourish! (You see what art can do.)
In the first-of-its-kind catalogue available in the shops, Augsburg and Renaissance history is detailed, along with essays by the show's curators, Gregory Jecmen of the National Gallery of Art, and Freyda Spira of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and many illustrations.
What: Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings, 1475-1540
When: This exhibition closes on New Year's Eve. The Gallery is open every day from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and on Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. The Gallery is closed on New Year's Day
Where: Ground floor galleries in the West Building, National Gallery of Art, between 4th and 7th and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
How much: No charge
For more information: 202-737-4215
Metro stations: Judiciary Square, Navy Memorial-Archives, or the Smithsonian