20th April - 18th August 2002
The exhibition is generously supportd by Donald and Jeanne Kahn
This exhibition will bring twelve masterpieces
by Caspar David Friedrich from the State Hermitage Museum's collection
in St Petersburg, together with work by his German contemporaries.
Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) was
the leading artist of the German Romantic movement, notable especially
for his symbolic and atmospheric treatment of landscape. Friedrich
and his contemporaries are almost totally unrepresented in British
public collections, however the Hermitage holdings from this gr
eat period of German art have no equal outside Germany, and even
rival the best there.
Fittingly this exhibition marks the 150th
year of the opening of the New Hermitage in 1852, which marked the
culmination of Tsar Nicholas I's reign. The richness of the Hermitage's
German collection is due to the enthusiasm of Nicholas and his wife
Alexandra, sister of Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia. This exhibition
and accompanying catalogue will explore this remarkable patronage
that makes Nicholas I one of the outstanding formative influences
on the character of the Hermitage collection.
As well as the main focus of Friedrich's
work the exhibition will include a series of gouaches by Adolph
von Menzel (1815-1905) commissioned for Alexandra by her brother
Friedrich Wilhelm, paintings by Friedrich Johann Overbeck (1789-1869),
Joseph Anton Koch (1768-1839) and Leo von Klenze (1784-1864) the
architect of the New Hermitage in St Petersburg.