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Portrait of Emperor Maximilian I

Drawings and Prints

Selections from the Permanent Collection

March 27–July 29, 2012

The works in this exhibition complement Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400–1700, on view April 3 through September 3, 2012. The selection highlights the Museum's outstanding collection of Central European prints and illustrated books dating from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. In addition, a small number of recently acquired German and Swiss drawings from the period is displayed.

The exhibition includes rare fifteenth-century woodcuts and engravings by artists such as the Master of the Playing Cards and Martin Schongauer, as well as prints made as designs for liturgical objects and religious architecture. Albrecht Dürer, the great German printmaker, is represented in a display of his mythological prints. These are shown together with works by the so-called Little Masters, who engraved in an equally fine technique.

A group of woodcuts dating from the late fifteenth to the late sixteenth century highlights the wide-ranging role of heraldry during this period with works by such artists as Hans Burgkmair and Jost Amman. The advent of landscape as a central subject is illustrated with prints by Albrecht Altdorfer and later artists. Also on view is a group of spectacular Mannerist portraits by the Netherlandish engravers active in Prague, as well as detailed depictions of church interiors and other vaulted spaces from the seventeenth century.

The Museum's outstanding collection of German illustrated books is highlighted with selections of early herbals; treatises attesting to the artists' fascination with geometry and theories of perspective; and a group of books published in the city of Augsburg, one of Germany's foremost centers of printmaking.

Related Exhibition: Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400–1700

Image: Hans Weiditz the Younger (German, before 1500–ca. 1536), after Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528). Portrait of Emperor Maximilian I, 1519. Woodcut; 21 13/16 x 14 15/16 in. (55.4 x 38 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The George Khuner Collection, Gift of Mrs. George Khuner, 1975 (1975.653.108)