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Preview 2014

Preview 2014



Preview 2014



Romanticism – Impressionism – Modernism

26 September 2014 – 18 January 2015

Caspar David Friedrich did it, just as Alfred Sisley and Auguste Rodin did; Claude Monet managed it all of 33 times. And the same is true of Matisse, Feininger, Ernst, Picasso, Warhol and Gursky, to name just the most famous artists. They all let themselves be inspired by the grace, the radiance and majesty of famous cathedrals to produce wonderful works.

The fascinating path this motif has taken from the Romantics to the present day will be traced out at the Wallraf in winter 2014. In a major special exhibition, “The Cathedral”, the Cologne museum will present around 120 exhibits that all explore that most monumental of mediaeval buildings, including four of the works in which Monet immortalised Rouen cathedral.

Using the example of the cathedral, the exhibition takes the visitor through a number of the most intriguing chapters of art history. But it will not simply show a wealth of interpretations from various epochs, but also point out suprising connections between the prominent artists themselves, while clarifying their personal aims, views and motivations.


Treasures from the Jesuit Collection I:

The Drawings of Giulio Cesare Bedeschini (Print Room)

14 February – 4 May 2014

In these digital times, cut & paste has become a normal part of everyday life. Whenever we want we can cut out an interesting section of text or an image and paste it somewhere else. But the self-same method was used by artists centuries ago. A particular master of cut & paste was the Italian Giulio Cesare Bedeschini (1582 - 1627). He corrected his drawings by snipping parts out of them and pasting on new sections, or glued over his old compositions with new designs.

The first ever exhibition on Bedeschini will be mounted in spring 2014 by the Graphic Department at the Wallraf. It will show the astonishing extent to which this artist used cut & paste, and how modern he still seems as a result. For the show the museum has augmented its extensive collection of Bedeschini drawings by loans from the print collections in Paris, Munich and Düsseldorf. This exhibition marks the beginning of a series in which the Wallraf will subject large batches of drawings from the former Jesuit Collection in Cologne to closer examination and present them to the public.


Liebermann’s ‘Bleaching Ground’. The Missing Laundry Woman

7 March – 15 June 2014

An abandoned washtub is the only clue to the disappearance of a young woman. It is standing in the middle of the famous painting The Bleaching Ground by Max Liebermann. But not a trace remains today of the laundry woman who originally was created for this work. Taking this figure, the presentation at the Wallraf will unravel the fascinating story of how this large painting came into being.

After its first public showing in 1883 at the celebrated Paris Salon, Max Liebermann decided to thoroughly rework the picture and painted over the woman. Only now has the Wallraf brought the process behind this artistic revision to light: a recently acquired preliminary sketch by Liebermann and two fascinating x-ray and infra-red images of the painting show the laundry woman on her traditional place and thus reveal a completely different composition for the Bleaching Ground.


Rubens, You & I. Friendship Pictures

7 May – 17 August 2014

What do we really understand by the word ‘friendship’ in these days of Facebook and social networking? What roles do we attribute to ourselves in a freely elected bond? And what relationship does this have to our self-image and our impact on others? The participants in this unusual exhibition project adopte their own positions, in the literal sense of the word, to these questions: starting out from the group portrait Friends at Mantua by Peter Paul Rubens, they examine the concept of friendship in past epochs at the Wallraf, and then stage themselves among the circle of their friends in a photo session.

But the discussions are not only conducted at the museum, they also take place on the web, because all of the works are published in a dedicated blog and on Facebook. These are now home to an ongoing discussion about current notions of friendship, and users can vote there to choose the six best photos, which will enter into a thrilling dialogue with the original painting by Rubens. The presentation will be rounded off by a video documentation and an interactive guestbook.

Everyone who is interested can link up with the project by simply visiting, registering, and taking part.


Max Klinger: Opus II – Rescues of Ovid’s Victims (Print Room)

23 May – 10 August 2014

In 1879, Max Klinger (1857 - 1920) created a cycle of 13 prints entitled Opus II - Rettungen Ovidischer Opfer. For this the artist looked at three stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’, ‘Narcissus and Echo’ and ‘Apollo and Daphne’. The special thing about Klinger’s versions is that he gave them an ironic and life-affirming twist, whereas Ovid’s original stories mainly end in death. As the title of the series says, the artist was concerned with rescuing his Ovidian heroes.

The exhibition at the Wallraf clearly shows how these rescues were performed and what the Opus II, whose first edition was dedicated to the composer Robert Schuhmann, has to do with music and theatre. In addition, Klinger’s new interpretations will be confronted by Ovid pictures from the sixteenth century that highlight the conflicts – where things were really a matter of love and death.


Counterproof. An Art in Itself (Print Room)

29 August – 23 November 2014

One of the allegedly “poor” relatives in any graphic collection is the counterproof. This simple means of reproducing a drawing has, however, always played a significant role, alongside the artist’s copy. Thus for instance a lot of counterproofs were made in eighteenth century France from ruddle drawings done by artists such as Boucher and Watteau. One simply placed a lightly dampened sheet of paper on the original drawing and, with just a light press and no other intervention, received a counterproof. The Wallraf has dedicated a special exhibition exclusively to this method, which explores the artistic beauty and the various functions of the counterproof. Is it just a trivial repetition, or is it in fact an original, mirror reversed through 180 degrees?



In the Blue Salon: Miniature Portraits around 1800

14 November 2014 – 1 February 2015

Over 170 painted portraits on one wall? What sounds like an impossibility will be made reality at the Wallraf. In winter 2014/15, the museum is showing a fascinating collection of miniature portraits from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: a musican posing proudly by a piano, a youngster in his Sunday best giving an excrutiating smile, and a fine lady with a squint who is looking shyly past the viewer. These are just three of the people painted en miniature, but they give an idea of the wide spectrum covered by the collection. Each one scarcely the size of a beer mat, the works came as a gift to the Wallraf and are now on display for the first time to the public.

Miniature portraits came into great popularity around 200 years ago. Done on parchment, paper or even ivory, they served as mementoes of loved ones. The highly specialised painters liked to set off the particular characteristics of the sitter in a lively manner, and in that way created what perhaps are the most personal artefacts in art history. Not until the end of the nineteenth century did miniature portraiture come to be replaced by photography.



Dürer’s Mysteries. Riddles in his Graphic Œuvre (Print Room)

12 December 2014 – 22 March 2015

Among the trail-blazing innovations around the year 1500 was the development of the print into an artistic medium in its own right. Within the shortest of time, Albrecht Dürer not only achieved a hitherto unknown virtuosity in every single printing technique, but also established a large number of new visual genres that considerably increased the field of the visual arts. But while his numerous picture series (such as “The Life of the Virgin”) were new variations on traditional themes, some one-off works have remained a total mystery. These copper engravings, woodcuts or iron engravings, all done in prime quality, often contain depictions that bear echoes of antiquity: the figures appear naked, or dressed with an aura of antiquity, and are portrayed in poses or actions that recall the gods and heroes of classical mythology. And yet these prints can rarely be assigned to a concrete subject. Evidently Dürer was inviting the viewers to open themselves to his mysteries and try their wits at interpreting them, then as now.





[Translate to english:] vorschau bildergalerie

Giulio Cesare Bedeschini (1583 – 1625), Madonna mit dem Jesusknaben und den beiden Hll. Stephanus und Rochus, Feder in Braun über Rötel, quadriert, 322 x 235 mm, Inv. Z 2869, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation CorboudGiulio Cesare Bedeschini (1583 – 1625), Madonna mit Hl. Helena und Hl. Nikolaus von Myra, Feder in Braun, braun laviert, quadriert, 232 x 190 mm, Inv.-Nr. Z 2878, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation CorboudGiulio Cesare Bedeschini (1583 – 1625), Anna Selbdritt mit dem Hl. Franz von Assisi und einem weiteren Heiligen, Feder in Braun, braun und graugrün laviert, quadriert, Inv.-Nr. Z 3492, Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud