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[Prints and Drawings Exhibition]

Kleinmeister: German Small-Format Printmakers in the First Half of the 16th Century

Dates:
Wednesday 13 June ~Monday 17 September
Hours:
9:30 am- 5:30 pm
Friday 9:30 am - 8:00 pm
(Admission ends 30 mins. before closing time)
Closed:
Mondays and 17 July
(We open on 16 July, 13 August and 17 September)
Venue:
Prints and Drawings Gallery, NMWA
Organized by:
The National Museum of Western Art
Admission Fees:
Adults 420 yen (210yen), College students 130 yen(70 yen)

Numbers in parentheses indicate discount fees for groups of 20 or more
Tickets for Permanent collection and Special Exhibition provide access to this exhibition.
High school students and children under the age of 18, and seniors over the age of 65 admitted free of charge. Please show your ID upon entrance to confirm your age.
Disabled visitors admitted free of charge, with one attendant. Please present your disability identification upon arrival.

Germany was home to a flourishing print production industry during the first half of the 16th century, thanks to the superb skills of numerous individual printmakers. Artists who specialized in smaller formats, ranging in scale from postage stamp to postcard size, emerged in the industry at this time. These creators of miniature prints, including Georg Penz, Heinrich Aldegrever and the brothers Barthel and Hans Sebald Beham, were called kleinmeister, a German term that literally means small master, or more formally the Little Masters.
Prints produced by these kleinmeisters found ardent fans throughout Europe. Scholars today have confirmed that by the beginning of the 17th century their works were appreciated and collected as far afield as India. It is thought that the intricately worked compositions created from minutely detailed lines found favor with collectors of the period who were also fascinated by the interesting subject matter. In response to these aspects of collector interest, the kleinmeister printmakers actively went beyond the usual Biblical print matter to find novel subjects rendered in bold expression. Their subject matter ranged from classical mythology and allegory to historical subjects, peasants, soldier images, and at even at times erotic subjects.
This exhibition presents the kleinmeister prints in the NMWA collection, along with works by Albrecht Altdorfer, an artist greatly influenced by the kleinmeisters. We hope that visitors will find a sense of 16th century place, time and mood in these miniature compositions.


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