We Set the Tone. Pictures of Music from Mantegna to Matisse
Kupferstichkabinett (Collection of Drawings & Prints) TIERGARTEN | BERLIN | GERMANY
JULY 21, 2017-NOVEMBER 05, 2017
The Kupferstichkabinett of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is dedicating its fourth summer exhibition to a topic that is as entertaining as it is varied: the subject of music in drawings and prints. A selection of about 100 of the most beautiful musical works will be on display, among others by Andrea Mantegna, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Adolph von Menzel,Wassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein andGerhard Altenbourg.
The recurring leitmotif evident in the exhibition is the special affinity between musical and pictorial expression. In musical notation, for instance, many of the basic elements of the graphic arts such as lines, initials, abbreviations, and dots capture the fleeting sound of a melody and make it visible on paper – music, in short, is drawn. And on the other hand, in the prints and drawings on display here, the dancing, flowing, or staccato strokes of the pen, pencil, or burin are strongly reminiscent of musical rhythms and harmonies. With the rise of modernism, visual artists even started creating tonal compositions of lines and colours rendered with pen and brush. These works impressively illustrate the creative back-and-forth between the visual arts and music.
Berlins’ Kupferstichkabinett is home to the most comprehensive and thematically diverse collection of European art in Germany, spanning 10 centuries. The exhibition presents a selection of the most beautiful musical images of the museum collection. Added to the list of great artists featured here are the names of those great musicians and composers who are depicted in the various works, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Niccolò Paganini, andLudwig van Beethoven. And added to these yet again are a number of studies in ink or pencil of individual musical instruments which bring to life the magical beauty, for instance, of a bugle glistening in the sun or the sensual and elegantly curved contours of various string instruments. Similar to what the étude is to the composer, the study gives the artist an opportunity to ‘riff’ on a motif, run it through descending scales, and view it from different angles.
Artists on show
ADOLPH VON MENZEL
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
REMBRANDT VAN RIJN
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