CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Looking North and South: European Prints and Drawings, 1500–1650

Exhibition: 5 March - 29 May 2017

The Clark’s permanent collection of works on paper, which includes the work of Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Giorgio Vasari, Pier Francesco Mola, and Guercino, among others, demonstrates the breadth and depth of artistic achievement in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. Artists working in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy experienced a fascinating and rich period of artistic exchange during this time. While Northern artists traveled increasingly to Italy in this period, offering a profound response to Italian and antique art, exchange was not one-sided. The circulation of artistic ideas, practices, and traditions resulted in a mutual dialogue of inspiration and innovation across Europe.

North and South explores the character of this artistic exchange through the production of prints, drawings, and rare books from c. 1500–1650. It considers how artists responded to the work of their contemporaries in different regions of early modern Europe, revealing intersections and divergences in artistic production, thought, and tradition. This exhibition allows for new considerations of artists’ approaches to drawing practices and pedagogy, depictions of the body and narrative subjects, and the dynamics of printmaking and artistic collaboration. Together the works present the opportunity to reconsider the complexity of artistic production when looking north and south.

Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), Hercules Strangling the Nemean Lion, ca. 1620
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown