Sunday, August 21, 2005


Hamburger Kunsthalle Presents Sea-pieces

August 19, 2005

HAMBURG, GERMANY.-Hamburger Kunsthalle presents Sea-pieces. From Caspar David Friedrich to Emil Nolde, on view through September 11, 2005. Ships, harbours and seas are central motifs in German painting of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Hardly any significant painter of the time could resist the appeal of the sea, be it Caspar David Friedrich, Johan Christian Dahl, Max Liebermann, Lyonel Feininger or Emil Nolde. These motifs were not only for them, but also for many other German painters from the romantic to expressionist periods, central themes of their artistic output. All the more surprising that until now, art history has largely neglected this theme, or rather, has looked at it mainly under maritime aspects. Our exhibition will approach the theme for the first time from an art historical viewpoint.

In the exhibition of over 60 paintings the Hamburger Kunsthalle will present a representative survey of the history of the seascape in German painting from the early nineteenth century to the First World War. The exhibition brings to light the diversity of this fascinating theme. It spans maritime devotional painting of the romantic period, dramatic storms at sea of the salon painting genre, narrative impressionist harbour and coastal scenes and South Seas inspired work of the expressionists. The artists convey the loneliness of the open sea and its catastrophes, document the pride in the fleet and hard labour of the dockworkers and portray fun-time on the beach.

The Hamburger Kunsthalle's valuable stock of maritime paintings forms an ideal base on which to develop the theme and make it accessible at the highest artistic level. Caspar David Friedrich's "Polar Sea", Johan Christian Dahl's "Shipwreck on the Norwegian Coast" or Emil Nolde's "Tugboat on the River Elbe" belong to the museum's own highlights. These supreme works of art are to be supplemented by numerous loans from other German and international museums, including the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, the Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen and The Saint Louis Art Museum, USA.

An exhibition catalogue will be available in the online shop. Curators of the Exhibition: Martin Faass and Felix Krämer. The exhibition is supported by Ahrenkiel Group, Reederei Alnwick Harmstorf, Deutsche Afrika-Linien, Hamburg-Süd, Nordcapital, Reederei Claus-Peter Offen, Orion Schiffahrtsgesellschaft, HypoVereinsbank, Warburg-Bank and our media partner Hamburger Abendblatt.


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