Of all colours, red is the most eye-catching. Historically, it was very early endowed with symbolic significance, and thus acquired magical associations in the ancient world. The complicated manufacture of the pigment vermilion from mercury and sulphur was not only familiar to artists, but also represented an important ritual for alchemists.
In our culture and perception, red is the colour of life, of joy, passion and love – but also of aggression and, by association, of the absolute demonstration of power.
Traditional European painting exploits this significant symbolic complexity of red, which even in the interpretation of the classical principles of colour fluctuates between reduction to sensual stimulus and purely decorative function on the one hand, and complex iconographic associations on the other.
If, conceptionally speaking, baroque pictorial space is largely determined by colour, which unites the total picture into an overall chromatic tone, then in modern painting there is a steady development of the ambient colour towards becoming an intrinsic quality, on a wide variety of grounds.
In the exhibition, the European baroque paintings will be contrasted with international contemporary works.
Artists: Hendrik van Balen, François Boucher, Antonis van Dyck, Frans Francken, Charles Le Brun, Carl Loth, Kaspar Memberger, Bernardo Strozzi, Paul Troger, Jean-Marc Bustamente, Sylvie Fleury, Lori Hersberger, Kenton Nelson, Hermmann Nitsch, Jason Martin, Hubert Scheibl, Eva Schlegel, Jan Voss u.a.
Curator: Gabriele Groschner
Residenzgalerie Salzburg Web Site