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German Renaissance drawings, royal autographs, and old maps are some of the subjects of four exhibits now on display in different parts of the University.
The exhibition of Renaissance drawings started yesterday at the Germanic Museum and will continue until the last of April. It contains a large collection of reproductions illustrating the development of German graphic arts from the middle of the 15th Century to the middle of the 16th, with special emphasis on the work of Durer and the two Holbeins.
Commenting on the exhibit, C. L. Kuhn, curator of the Museum, remarked that he considered German drawings far more interesting than German paintings, because the Teutons have always been superbly skillful while working in black and white, but rather out of place when using colors. "Durer, for example," he said "was one of the greatest draughtsmen the world has over soon. These pictures show the development of his work from the late Gothie style that first influenced him to the early Renaissance type to which he turned in his later years.
"The two Holbeins represent another interesting phase in the history of German art," Dr. Kuhn continued. "Of course Holbein the Younger is almost universally known, but I think it is a great pity that the work of the elder Holbein has been so overshadowed by that of his better known son. It is easy to see that Holbein the Younger got his interest in art from his father's sketches of monks, nobles, and tradesmen, such as these you see here. Holbein the Younger, by the way, developed the exclusive technique of using black and white ink on colored paper."
Whom asked to compare the drawings of the two artists Durer and Holbein the Younger, Dr. Kuhn said that in his opinion Holbein's portraits were completely objective, very exact, and distinctly unemotional, whereas Durer always attempted to endow his subject with a personal touch, almost an appearance of pent-up emotion.
Another interesting aspect of Durer's work is shown by a collection of 16 plates designed by the great German artist to illustrate the Apocrypha. This collection is on display in the Widener Room in Widener Library.
Of a totally different nature is the exhibit now on view in the Treasure Room in Widener Library. This is a collection of signature of the kings and queens of all the royal houses of Europe, both past and present, Frederick the Great, Louis XII and Louis XVI of France, the Empress Eugenic, Victoria, the Emperor Charles V, Napoleon, and Louis Phillipe are all represented in this exhibition. Some of the documents bearing royal signatures are proclamations, and other military commissions.
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