A large-scale, international exhibition organized in collaboration with the National Museum in Warsaw brings almost 40 Mannerist paintings from Poland to the Kadriorg Art Museum. The central style trait of Mannerist art is artistry. Instead of an imitation of nature that is as objective as possible, the emphasis is on subjectivity and theatricality. The aesthetics of the art is closely related to the court culture of the time, which was interested in curiosities and erotica and cultivated elegant manners and a luxurious lifestyle. The bourgeois urban culture of the Netherlands provides a distinctive interpretation of Mannerism, by synthesizing the new style and motifs with the local portrayal tradition that valued detailed depiction.
The rich collection of the National Museum in Warsaw provides a diverse and interesting selection of the Mannerist painting genre from the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Netherlands, introducing this intriguing chapter in art history to the present-day audience.
The exhibition is curated by Greta Koppel and co-curated by Aleksandra Janiszewska. A comprehensive catalogue will be published alongside an international seminar (20 November 2017) and diverse public programming.