18 November 2013

Since I witnessed Valentino Haute Couture collection last July, with the first number containing a print of Dürer's Rhinoceros, it's just about time I will see the original painting of that particular piece of art. And Frankfurt is the rightful place to experience it.

Yesterday I went to Städel Museum in Frankfurt, and with a lot of patience to just buy the ticket (it's 4 degree Celsius outside), all wait and long were paid off.

Carefully spread over two floors and around 1000 square meters, the exhibition features 280 pieces in all, and around 200 was Dürer's work. From room to room you will be deeply involved in a program of art and life , the extremely modern anmutet in its strategic direction. But from the beginning Dürer there's no doubt that he will use the dislocations and fractures, the hopes and visions of his era for his cause .

Jochen Sander, the curator said in a statement, "This major presentation at the  Städel differs distinctly from comparable past exhibition by showing Dürer's art in context of its time". Among the rest of the context giving pieces are creations by such contemporaries and friendly rivals as Hans von Kulmback, Hans Baldung Grien, Giovanni Bellini, and Jacopo de' Barbari, the later with whom Dürer jousted in works such as "The Witches", or often referred as "The Four Women". Every aspect of Dürer’s oeuvre is touched upon in the show: painting, drawing, woodcuts, and engravings all appear in some of their most pristine examples publicly available. The punctuation to the exhibition is the “Heller Altarpiece” (1507-1509), which Dürer personally delivered from his birthplace of Nuremburg to Frankfurt am Main in 1509 to Jakob Heller, one of the city’s most prominent merchants of that time. The piece is rarely seen in its entirety today, due to its panels having been split up between the collections of the Historisches Museum Frankfurt, the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, and the Städel Museum.

Dürer’s engravings are typified by “Melancholia I” (1514), a work, which Städel Museum director Max Hollein calls a precursor to surrealism, that has incited up today to infinite diligence the art of science, in their never fully allocable allusiveness in fact, a letter of application for admission to the order of the humanist intellectual. It was believed at that time, that 'melancholic', among four basic human feelings, was the worst (in my opinion, it is because being melancholic doesn't result anything except wasting time, which was thought as a big loss).

Meanwhile, his woodcuts — perhaps the most cherished portion of his oeuvre today — are extremely well represented by ground breaking works such as “Triumphal Arch of Emperor Maximilian I” (1517-1518), which is said to be one of the largest works in the medium ever created, “The Apocalypse” (1498/1511), with which Dürer truly made his name, and of course, “Rhinoceros” (1515), a drawing made by Dürer based on Italian rough sketch, without ever seeing an actual rhinoceros. He drew the Rhinoceros as the reaction to a news that Prince of Gujarati gave the rhino as a gift to King Manuel I of Portugal.

The ONLY photograph I took, after begging them. It is forbidden to take photographs in Dürer's section. But I had to take photograph of this particular piece.

Watch the video below for the glimpse of the exhibition.

Art for me is something mind-disturbing, something that can create discussion even for my own self, and what Dürer's created, it shows that he is the deutscher Meister.

The exhibition opens until February 2nd, 2014. Städel Museum is located here.

Signorfandi, divulging Dürer...