From the museum website, 28 February 2012
Some 200 works by notable Dutch artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such as Hendrick Goltzius, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan Gillisz. van Vliet and, not least, Rembrandt, will be coming together in the Wallraf in spring 2012. They are prints of the highest artistic quality, covering an unusually broad spectrum of motifs. Genre pictures, portraits and caricatures are among them, no less than mythological and biblical scenes, and works confronting the sculpture of classical Antiquity.
Hendrick Goltzius – the ‘Proteus of art’
The exhibition focuses on Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617) and his circle. His brilliant use of the copperplate engraving medium made Goltzius the catalyst for numerous artistic innovations at the end of the sixteenth century. Contemporaries called him, respectfully, the ‘Proteus of art’, a reference to the god of mutability. With unique skill, he imitated the styles of masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Lucas van Leyden, at the same time using the motifs of Italian artists such as Michelangelo. But in addition he created his own unmistakable style, which became the exemplar and standard for succeeding generations of engravers.
The Christoph Müller Collection
The occasion of the exhibition ‘Artists of the Line’ is the generous donation by the Berlin collector Christoph Müller to the Wallraf Richartz Museum. To mark the museum’s sesquicentenary in 2011, Müller donated over a hundred prints by Dutch artists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This collection is being put on show by the Wallraf together with drawings and prints from its own collection. Many of these important and original works in the Graphics Collection from the golden age of Dutch art are being put on public display for the first time.