One of the world's leading collections of old masters in the world visited Vienna. Fourteen masterpieces from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg entered into a dialogue with the great paintings from the collection of the Museum of fine arts in the Austrian capital. Among the artists represented in the project "Old masters from the Hermitage. Masterpieces from Botticelli to van Dyck" Sandro Botticelli, Jacopo Tintoretto, Rembrandt van Rijn and Anthony van Dyck. A representative sample of the works of these two brilliant collections gives a brief overview of European painting from the Renaissance to the early classicism and demonstrates how easily these pair of paintings, United by a common European cultural region, complement each other.
The show begins with two religious works of Sandro Botticelli and Albrecht by Altdorfer. This comparison illustrates the differences between the Northern Renaissance and the Italian Renaissance. Other couples important Northern artists are Hans and his brother Ambrosius Galbani and Bartholomeus Spranger and Hans von Aachen.
The focal point of both collections is Italian painting, and the exhibition it presents of the Venetian works. The compositions of Nicholas Poussin, Bernardo Strozzi introduced viewers to the early Baroque painting in Rome. Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Rubens and van Dyck represent the Golden age of Dutch and Flemish painting. And the work of Thomas Gainsborough and Philip Hackert serve as an example of British and German art.
Great attention at the exhibition devoted to the portrait and the related realization of the image. One of the finest examples of this genre are the works of Anthony van Dyck – "Portrait of Nicholas Lanier" and "Self". Both works exhibit a rare virtuosity of Flemish artist – the ability to accurately convey the look and posture the essence of the model.
The curators hope that during the "travel-open" to the river visitors will get acquainted with less known artists. Among them are the aforementioned Ambrosius Holbein, brother of the famous Hans Holbein the Younger, or Domenico Kapriolo. The latest creation is closely associated with Titian and Giorgione, but also – and perhaps surprising – with works by van Dyck and Watteau.