Lucas van Leyden (ca. 1494–1533) is one of the most unusual and most prominent personalities of the Netherlandish Renaissance. Similar to Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), with whom he maintained a lively correspondence, Van Leyden concentrated on characterizing people and their behavior. With great imagination and narrative talent, along with unusual approaches and points of view, he created unconventional graphic masterpieces of universally known subjects. Above all, he strove for artistic solutions and innovations. It is no wonder that he, who was already called a “prodigy” by his contemporaries, set completely new standards, and that his work was often copied.
The cabinet exhibition in the Liberna study room will present Lucas van Leyden’s fourteen-part series of copperplate engravings depicting the Passion of Christ. All of the prints in this series were made in 1521, making them exactly 500 years old! Why were these engravings seen as innovative and inspiring 500 years ago, and why was Lucas van Leyden hailed as superior and unparalleled? Can we still see this relevance today? Or (re)experience it?