Maria Sibylla Merian, Südamerikanische fußlose Eidechse, Leguan oder ostinische Baumeidechse und Seenadel, nach 1701
© Städel Museum, Frankfurt a. M.

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Connecting Worlds: Artists & Travel

Artists and travel have for centuries been intertwined where the desire to explore beyond the confines of one’s home has provoked a truly astonishing outpouring of creativity, much of which was captured through drawings and prints. Comprising over 100 such works, Connecting Worlds. Artists & Travel will be the first exhibition to approach the subject through the lens of artists' experiences of travel from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. Select works by contemporary artists offer further inspiring perspectives on the topic of travel and connectivity.

  • DATES 08/07/2023—08/10/2023



Why did artists travel? What did they take with them? With whom did they travel and meet? How did they record their journey? Addressing such questions, the exhibition invites visitors on their own creative journey by confronting them with works by major artists, amongst them Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein the Younger, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Maria Sibylla Merian, and Angelika Kauffmann, for whom travel expanded their artistic and intellectual horizons and circles of friendship.

Zeichnung von zwei reisenden Künstlern
© Katrin Bellinger Collection, Foto: Matthew Hollow
Friedrich Preller the Elder, The artist with pupils in nature on the island of Vilm, 1847


Divided into three sections "On the road", "Destination Rome", and "Dresden", the exhibition will begin by exploring artists on the road and what they regarded as important to record in sketchbooks and individual sheets. Primary amongst these are nature studies reflecting a fascination with the outdoors but also architecture and local inhabitants. The main destination was Rome, with its incomparable remains of antiquity and as the seat of the Catholic Church that celebrated its religious and institutional life through processions and public spectacle.

Sicht auf das Kolosseum in Rom
© Katrin Bellinger Collection, Foto: Matthew Hollow
Carlo Labruzzi, The Colosseum from the Palatine Hill, Rome, early 1760s or 1770s


Upon returning to their homelands, artists often used their drawings as the source for prints and paintings, thereby disseminating knowledge of their experience to a wider audience. The exhibition ends with Dresden under Augustus the Strong, a center of glamorous festivities, ambitiously competing with other international courts. This last chapter of the exhibition explores a different kind of travel through images and stories of landscapes, plants, animals, and cultures previously unknown in Europe that were brought back by courtly and military expeditions. The visual recordings of distant worlds in books and prints allowed for imaginary travel and enabled a sense of connectivity with places and people from near and far.

Hofstaat aus vielen Männern in aufwändige Kleidung und Turbanen
© Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Herbert Boswank
unknown (India), Shāh Jahān’s morning audience, 17th/18th century



The international exhibition project is a collaboration between the Kupferstich-Kabinett and the Katrin Bellinger Collection, London, and is made possible by the complementary strengths of the two collections: the Kupferstich-Kabinett, with its extensive holdings on the themes of travel and science in the early modern period, and the Katrin Bellinger Collection, with its focus on representations of artists engaged in the creative process. The project is supplemented by prominent loans from national and international collections.



publication accompanying the exhibition

Connecting Worlds: Artists and Travel

edited by Anita Viola Sganzerla and Stephanie Buck, Paul Holberton Publishing, 274 pages, 200 color plates, 2023, ISBN: 9781913645489

Connecting Worlds: Artists and Travel
virtual tour through the exhibition

virtual exhibition

Get an insight into the exhibition via a virtual tour.

in cooperation with

Förderer & Partner

Schriftzug von Tavolozza Foundation

media partner

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Rosalba Carriera – Perfection in Pastel

in Zwinger

Porträt einer Frau mit schwarzem Dreispitz und Perlenschmuck


in Residenzschloss

Portrait eines Mannes mit Hut und Vollbart
31/08/2022 —03/03/2024 From Summer 2022
Das Gartenzimmer

Josef-Hegenbarth Archiv

in Josef-Hegenbarth-Archive

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