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Dürer: The Feast of the Rose Garlands 1506 - 2006

 

Staff Report

PRAGUE, 19 August 2006—Some one hundred works of art that aim to illustrate the exceptional character of Albrecht Dürer's The Feast of the Rose Garlands in the historical context of European art are on view at the Waldstein Riding School in Prague (until 1 October 2006).

Considered a landmark work in the transition between the late Gothic and the Renaissance, The Feast of the Rose Garlands was created during Dürer’s sojourn in Venice in 1506. It was commissioned by German merchants, settled around the commercial center known as the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice, as the altar painting for their chapel in the parish Church of San Bartolomeo. The commissioners selected the theme: the painting depicts an ideal congregation of the Brotherhood of the Rosary. The Virgin with the Infant Christ, Saint Dominic and the angels dispense on the gathering of the faithful a symbolic blessing in the form of rose garlands. To the left are representatives of the clergy with the Pope at their head, while on the right the representatives of secular power receive the blessing. Among the latter we may clearly identify the Holy Roman Emperor in waiting, Maximilian I. The faces of other figures have the aspects of portrait, undoubtedly they portray prominent personages of the German colony in Venice, but the centuries that have elapsed make it difficult to identify them. Still, we can identify the man standing under a tree to the right: it is Dürer himself.

According to period testimonies, the painting drew crowds of visitors from all over Europe while the Emperor Rudolf II was determined to acquire it at any cost. 


Albrecht Dürer:
The Feast of the Rose Garlands, 1506,
oil on poplar wood, 162 x 192 cm
National Gallery in Prague
Photo courtesy of National Gallery in Prague

The exhibition presents also other works by Albrecht Dürer and his circle, as well as a number of works created in the subsequent centuries, which either strove to come to terms with the legacy of The Feast of the Rose Garlands, or portrayed imaginary episodes from the life of Dürer (1471 – 1528).


Albrecht Dürer:
The Feast of the Rose Garlands, 1506, (detail - self-portrait, placed in the background to the right in The Feast of the Rose Garlands
oil on poplar wood, 162 x 192 cm
National Gallery in Prague
Photo courtesy of National Gallery in Prague

Albrecht Dürer: The Feast of the Rose Garlands 1506 - 2006
21 June - 1 October 2006 
Waldstein Riding School
Valdštejnská 3
110 00 Prague

National Gallery in Prague 

Book Tip:



The Life and Art of Albrecht Durer (Princeton Classic Editions) 
by Erwin Panofsky
With a new introduction by Jeffrey Chipps Smith
Paperback 520 pages
Princeton University Press; 1st Princeton Classic Ed edition
28 September 2005
ISBN: 0691122768
$29.95 / £18.95 

Single volume edition with complete illustrations of Erwin Panofsky's classic text first published in 1943 in two volumes. Jeffrey Chipps Smith's new introduction smooths the path to Panofsky's landmark erudition on the life and work of the Northern Renaissance master.



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