From Dürer to Kandinsky

The collection of drawings represents one of the most important parts of the Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie Dessau. For the first time, a selection of 100 first-class works of art on paper will be presented to give a representative insight into its extensive holdings. While viewing the drawings on display, visitors are immersed in a journey through time, ranging from the late Middle Ages to the era of Classical Modernism.

An important focus of the collection is on Old German drawings, which include high-quality works by Albrecht Dürer, Albrecht Altdorfer and Lucas Cranach the Elder. Less well known so far are the holdings of Mannerist and Baroque drawings, including works by Hendrick Goltzius, Federico Barocci and Johann Heinrich Schönfeld.

The art of the Goethe period is represented by works by artists such as Wilhelm Tischbein (known as “Goethe-Tischbein”), Daniel Chodowiecki and the hitherto little-noticed painter Caroline Friederike Friedrich.

The period of the poet Goethe also includes masterpieces of Romantic draughtsmanship by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Ferdinand Olivier and Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The rich 19th-century holdings, including drawings by Carl Blechen, Carl Gustav Carus and Moritz von Schwind, as well as works from around 1900, including works by Hans Thoma, Max Slevogt and Otto Dix, are partly unpublished and were previously unknown even to specialist researchers.

Since its foundation in 1927, the gallery has had the task of being a treasure house of Anhalt art, and owns many drawings documenting the art scene in the former small state. The exhibition also features important works by artists who have a connection to Anhalt through their origins or their work. These include architectural drawings by Ludwig Binder and Franz Skarbina, landscape drawings by Carl Wilhelm Kolbe and Friedrich Chapon, portraits by Franz Krüger and Heinrich Beck, and a watercolour acquired by Wassily Kandinsky during his time in Dessau.

All exhibition contents and guided tours can be found here.