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The Art of Enlightenment

April 2, 2011 to March 31, 2012,
National Museum of China, Beijing

An exhibition presented by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen Munich, in conjunction with the National Museum of China in Beijing.
The three German museum bodies will unveil more than 400 exhibits, spread over a total display area of 2700 m² in the National Museum of China in Beijing. At its heart, the exhibition will feature artworks which best exemplify the great ideas of the Enlightenment, its influence on the fine arts and its effective history, from the artistic revolutions of the 18th century right up to the present day.
With their combined loans, that include masterpieces by Pesne, Füssli, Piranesi and Goya, the three German museum bodies are able to present the full spectrum of the Art of the Enlightenment, encompassing painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, crafts, fashion and exquisite scientific instruments. The exhibition presents the core themes of the art of the Enlightenment in nine separate sections: “Court life in the age of the Enlightenment”, “Perspectives of knowledge”, “The birth of history”, “Far and near”, “Love and sensibility”, “Back to nature”, “Shadows”, “Emancipation and the public sphere” and “Project Enlightenment?”.

  • Marie-Gabrielle Capet, Atelierszene, 1808, Öl auf Leinwand, 69 x 83,5 cm, © Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München
  • Sir Henry Raeburn (1756 – 1823), Mrs. Anne Hart, um 1810 © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie
  • Kauffmann, Angelika (1741-1807), Bildnis einer Dame als Vestalin, 1781/1782, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden