CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Das Geheimnis des Jan van Eyck: die frühen niederländische Zeichnungen und Gemälde in Dresden

The mystery of Jan van Eyck: the early Netherlandish drawings and paintings in Dresden Exhibition: 13 August - 1 November 2005

Jan van Eyck, central panel of Madonna and child with Sts. George and Catherine, 1437, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden – Gemäldegalerie

Exhibition rooms of the Kupferstich-Kabinett in the Royal Palace

Originally planned for 2003, but postponed on account of the flood damage and the costs it entailed.

From the museum website

Jan van Eyck is considered the founder of Dutch painting. His small triptych of Dresden and the portrait drawing of Niccolò Albergati are the two key works forming the nucleus of an exhibition which, for the first time ever, will unite all of the early Dutch paintings and drawings in the possession of the Dresden State Art Collections. Aside from being the only known drawing by Jan van Eyck, the portrait of Niccolò Albergati is the only fifteenth-century drawing attributable to a particular artist with certainty. Van Eyck’s altarpiece of 1437, for its part, represents the only extant triptych in the oeuvre of this great pioneer of European panel painting. The two works represent the starting point of an artistic development whose wealth and diversity manifested itself above all in the centres of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Flanders and Burgundy.

The collection of the Old Masters Picture Gallery comprises a further fifteen panel paintings, among them winged altarpieces, private devotional pictures and portraits mirroring the influence of Jan van Eyck’s innovations with regard to style, painting technique and iconography.

Contributing nearly 50 fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century drawings to the show, the exceptionally large inventory of the Cabinet of Prints and Drawings will provide a fascinating overview of the various functions of drawing, particularly as preparatory studies for paintings, glass windows and tombstones.

The juxtaposition of drawings and paintings will grant new insights into the fifteenth-century artist’s mode of working by allowing the visitor to retrace the various evolutional stages from the study to the preliminary drawing on the panel and from there to the finished painting.

Easy-to-follow documentation and a wide range of practical educational aids and activities will shed light on extremely interesting results of art-historical research into this field, many of them brand new. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue.
The exhibition will be made possible with the support of the Dresdner Bank Kulturstiftung Dresden.