Landscape, Heroes and Folktales German Romantic Prints and Drawings

Carl Wilhelm Kolbe (1759–1835), I too was in Arcadia (detail). Etching, 1801. From a private collection.

This morning’s staff breakfast talk was delivered by Curator Giulia Bartrum, who discussed a new exhibition that opened at the British Museum. Landscape, Heroes and Folktales German Romantic Prints and Drawings is an exhibition of over 100 18th–19th-century prints and drawings from this vibrant period of German art.

Artists in 19th-century Germany were seeking a new political and cultural identity as the Holy Roman Empire finally dissolved under Napoleon’s force.

To establish this new German identity, artists were drawing inspiration from the German landscape, mythology and Germany’s ancient past. Key figures at this time included composers Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms, philosophers Hegel and Schlegel, and literary giants Goethe and Schiller.

This exhibition is unusual for the British Museum in that the objects on display are not from the Museum’s collection.  The prints and watercolours come from a private collector, who was inspired to start collecting German Romantic Prints after visiting a British Museum exhibition.

 

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