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The Early Portrait

From the collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein and the Kunstmuseum Basel

HAUPTBAU / 25.02.–02.07.2006 / Curator: Stephan Kemperdick

From the 15th century onwards, an increasing number of portraits are painted as princes and burghers increasingly tend to have themselves represented in paintings. North of the Alps, the realism of the early Netherlands painting, after about 1430, creates new prerequisites for the portrayal of the individual who now appears in his unmistakable outward appearance as well as his social position. Certain types of portrait develop and become widespread, often emanating from the Netherlands all over Europe. However, every portrait remains an independent artistic achievement of its own. The exhibition which embraces excellent examples of portraiture between 1450 and 1550 in Germany, France and the Netherlands, spotlights the tensions between wide spread formulas of portraits on the one hand and the individual content of the single work on the other.