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Moments and Fictions

Johann Anton de Peters in Enlightenment Paris

Exhibition in the print room
15 June – 2 September 2012


[Translate to english:] Augenblicke und Fiktionen

Moments and Fictions
Johann Anton de Peters in Enlightenment Paris

15 June – 2 September 2012 (Gallery of Prints and Drawings)

Johann Anton de Peters (1725–1795), born in Cologne, spent almost half a century working in Paris. Like many foreign artists, he left the capital during the French Revolution, returning to his home city in 1791. The Wallraf possesses more than 680 drawings made by the artist during his time in Paris and left behind at his death. Most of them are sketches and studies in a variety of media, including pen, brush, natural chalk and pastel. Peters often used coloured paper.

The charm of these drawings lies in the snapshot nature of the depictions and in the contrast between carefully executed details on the one hand and sketchily outlined areas on the other. Some of the studies drawn using models were later used to prepare history paintings. In others it is hardly possible to tell whether the artist was observing an everyday situation or had invented the scene for a projected genre painting. A selection of drawings by French artists draws attention to the Parisian artistic environment in which Peters moved between 1744 and 1791. Like others, he too was influenced in particular by François Boucher and Jean-Baptiste Greuze, who became role models for artists the length and breadth of Europe. 

The exhibition and the catalogue has been designed by students from the University of Cologne’s Art Historical Institute under the guidance of the Berlin art historian Gerrit Walczak, an outstanding connoisseur of French Enlightenment art.



Bilder de Peters

Johann Anton de Peters, (1725 – 1795), Junge Frau, ein Buch lesend, Rote Kreide, 39,8 x 34,7 cm, Inv. Z 994Johann Anton de Peters, (1725 – 1795), Liegender weiblicher Akt, Rote Kreide, 13,6 x 23,1 cm, Inv. Z 826Johann Anton de Peters, (1725 – 1795), Bein- und Draperiestudie, Braune und rote Kreide, weiß gehöht, 33 x 21,6 cm, Inv. Z 741Johann Anton de Peters, (1725 – 1795), Sitzende junge Frau im Hemd, Schwarze Kreide, weiß gehöht, 35,3 x 25,2 cm, Inv. Z 601Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732 – 1806), Die hübsche Köchin, Rote Kreide, 35,5 x 25,5 cm, Inv. 1944/6

The Print Room

Exhibitions in the Print Room

Exhibitions in the Print Room

Like all art done on paper, the holdings of the Graphic Collection at the Wallraf must for conservational reasons be kept like "hidden treasures" in cupboards and cases.

In order however to show you these treasures on a more regular basis, the Wallraf has opened its own dedicated Print Room with regularly changing exhibitions. It is located at the centre of the Baroque Department on the second floor.

The Graphic Collection at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum

The Graphic Collection at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud embraces art on paper and parchment in all its variations.
Given the wealth of works by important artists from the great eras of art history, covering the whole range of drawing techniques and media, it is clear just how far the medium of drawing reveals the true vitality and imagination of human creativity.

   Further information