eine alte Buchdruck-Werkstatt
© SKD, Foto: Andreas Driesend

World views on paper. The "Nova Reperta" by Jan van der Straet

As part of the exhibition Concept and Encounter: The World around 1600, the Kupferstich-Kabinett is providing an insight into its inexhaustible holdings in a series of special exhibitions in the studiolo. Reflecting the broad spectrum of the collection, works dating from the Middle Ages to the present day are being shown for a limited time period. The first such exhibition presents an extraordinary series of engravings – the Nova Reperta. In these works, the Flemish painter and draughtsman Jan van der Straet (1523–1605) represented nineteen inventions of the early modern period, which he regarded as particularly important for the age in which he lived. These include spectacles, stirrups and silkworm breeding as well as book printing, engraving and clock making. One picture is also devoted to the discovery of America, which expanded the limits of the known world.

  • DATES 19/03/2016—12/09/2016

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The series is remarkable not only on account of its theme, which was unparalleled at the time. It also testifies to the cultural transfer taking place between the Netherlands and Italy, since it combines the Flemish School’s naturalistic representation of reality with the humanist ideas developed in Italy. Jan van der Straet, who initially trained in Antwerp, was active in Italy from 1550 until the end of his life, first as a fresco painter in the Vatican Palace in Rome and later working for the Medici in Florence.

Ankunft eines Seefahrers in Amerika
© SKD, Foto: Andreas Diesend
America (Die Entdeckung Amerikas), Blatt Nr. 1 der Folge "Nova Reperta"

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Philipp Galle had these highly detailed compositions made into engravings in Antwerp and first published them in 1591. Between 1612 and 1636 a second and third edition were published, since the Nova Reperta rapidly won great international popularity.

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