2013 - 2016


The GNM's Department of Prints and Drawings includes around 150 drawings by Netherlandish artists from the 15th to the 18th century. The geographical term "Netherlandish" refers to both the northern provinces of Holland and the Flemish areas in present-day Belgium. With a few exceptions, these drawings, from the hand of both prominent and not so prominent masters, have remained unpublished and therefore unknown to art historical research.


The museum's founder, Freiherr Hans von und zu Aufseß, owned Netherlandish drawings, e.g. a sheet signed and dated by Bartholomeus Spranger. However, most of the holdings were acquired through individual purchases between 1866 and 1939. The Netherlandish collection also grew in 1940 and 1982 as a result of bequests from two private collectors.

In addition to a couple of early works, the holdings contain many Dutch drawings from the 17th century, known as the Dutch Golden Age. The pictorial genres include landscapes, figures, genre scenes, allegories and religious and mythological subjects. A few 18th-century technical drawings of Netherlandic origin from the "Historical Sheets" are worthy of note as items specific to the collection. The functional relationships between the drawings are diverse, and not always obvious – studies, sketched ideas, drafts for specific paintings, printed graphics etc. can be found alongside independent works produced for the art market.


The goal is t o created a printed catalogue describing and depicting the Department of Prints and Drawings' Netherlandish drawings in accordance with scientific standards and thus open them up for further research. This work is focusing on collecting and evaluating the technical findings, stylistic peculiarities and possible functions of the drawings, particularly in view of the discussion about issues of dating and attribution.


The results of the research project will be presented in a special exhibition from February 17 to May 22, 2016. 

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aus der Dauerausstellung