Courtauld Gallery

Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection

EXHIBITION DETAILS

Berlin Kupferstichkabinett
16 October 2015 – 24 January

The Courtauld Gallery
London, 18 February – 15 May
Coinciding with the Botticelli ReImagined exhibition in Berlin and at the Victoria & Albert

Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection

Paperback, 260 x 216 mm, 168 pages, 100 colour illus.
PRICE: £25.00
ISBN: 9781907372926

 

Dagmar Korbacher with essays by Stephanie Buck and Frauke Steenbock and additional contributions by Beatrice Alai and Georg Josef Dietz

***** “a revelation”The Telegraph

***** "Some of the most staggeringly detailed, spellbindingly beautiful images ever created." —Time Out London

***** "A breathtaking look at paradise and purgatory”The Evening Standard

"Botticelli's drawings for the Divine Comedy are among the most lively, tender, and psychologically searching works he ever created." New York Review of Books

"What stuns is not damnation itself (Botticelli is remarkably faithful to Dante’s seven-circle version) but precisely what underpins all of his art: that pure, hypertensile line. And you never see this more clearly than in these drawings…" The Guardian 

In 1882 the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett (Prints and Drawings Museum) acquired, from the collection of the Duke of Hamilton, Sandro Botticelli’s spectacular series of drawings on parchment illustrating scenes from Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’. It also acquired nearly all the items in the duke’s priceless collection of illuminated manuscripts. The wider British public only became aware of these masterpieces when rumours of the Berlin museum’s attempts to woo the Scottish duke started circulating in the press. No less than Queen Victoria and her daughter, wife of the German crown prince, appealed for these treasures to remain in the UK. In spite of their efforts, the Berlin museum pulled off a sensational coup in acquiring the Hamilton collection. Since then the Botticelli drawings and the splendid Hamilton manuscripts have formed the cornerstone of the Kupferstichkabinett’s collection and are regarded as amongst the very greatest treasures of the Berlin State Museums.

Accompanying an exhibition that brings back to the UK some of the greatest of the former Hamilton treasures, this book includes no less than thirty of Botticelli’s exquisite ‘Dante drawings’. The series is of the highest order of importance and rarity, and this book will be an exceptional opportunity to explore the great Renaissance master’s interpretation of one of the canonical texts of world literature. Ten drawings will be included from each of the three ‘books’ or realms of the Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The drawings will be accompanied by an extraordinary selection of illuminated manuscripts from the time of Botticelli, including the monumental ‘Hamilton Bible’. Acknowledged to be one of the most important illuminated manuscripts in the world, this splendid princely volume is depicted in Raphael’s portrait of Pope Leo X. It has not been lent anywhere for 17 years and has never returned to the UK since it left in 1882. The Dante series will be further enhanced by the Courtauld Gallery’s own collection, which includes the master’s large altarpiece of The Holy Trinity with Saints John and Mary Magdalene, dating to the same years as the Dante series.

Bibliophile treasures of the highest calibre, all the works in this dazzling group are created by the best artists of their day for illustrious patrons, members of the leading families of Italy – the Medici, the Sforza and the kings of Naples. The manuscripts’ splendid variety and luminous colours exemplify what Dante termed the “smiling pages” when describing, in his Commedia, the art of manuscript illumination which so captured the public imagination in 19th century. 

 



David Teniers and the Theatre of Painting

This is an overdue investigation into one of the most remarkable artistic enterprises of the seventeenth century, much cited but seldom discussed, David Teniers the Younger’s publication in 1660 of the magnificent Theatrum Pictorium or Theatre of Painting, the first illustrated and printed collection catalogue. More

Spanish Drawings in The Courtauld Gallery: Complete Catalogue

Published to accompany the first substantial exhibition on the tradition of Spanish drawings to take place at The Courtauld Gallery, London, this catalogue captures the excitement and importance of this rapidly developing field of study. More

Bruegel in Black and White: Three Grisailles Reunited

Accompanying a focused display at The Courtauld Gallery that will bring together for the first time Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s only three known grisaille paintings, this book will examine the sources, function and reception of these three exquisite masterpieces. The panels will be complemented by prints and contemporary replicas, as well by other independent grisailles in order to shed light on the development of this genre in Northern Europe. More

Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision

Sir Peter Lely (1618–1680) was Charles II’s Principal Painter and the outstanding artistic figure of Restoration England. When Lely arrived in England in the early 1640s his ambition was to be a painter of narrative scenes and not to work as a portraitist. However, the ‘subject pictures’ did not find favour with many English patrons and he produced less than thirty. As Lely’s friend Richard Lovelace explained, all they wanted was ‘their own dull counterfeits’ or portraits of their mistresses. More

The Spooner Collection of British Watercolours

The Spooner collection of British watercolours is one of the finest of its kind, featuring all the leading artists of the period 1750–1850. Among the fine sheets included are watercolours of the Lake District by John White Abbott, and rural scenes by several artists – Gainsborough, Turner, Cozens, Rowlandson, Francis Towne, Samuel Palmer. Architecture dominates the setting in works by Girtin, Cotman and Sandby. More

Paths to Fame: Turner's Watercolours from the Courtauld - OUT OF PRINT

This catalogue accompanies an exhibition at Dove Cottage, Grasmere, and The Courtauld Gallery, London, which will be the first full display of the Courtauld’s outstanding collection of watercolours by J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). The collection spans the artist’s career, ranging from an important early view of the Avon Gorge, Bristol, made when Turner was just sixteen years old, to examples of the monumental highly finished watercolours of his maturity and the celebrated expressive late works. More

Antiquity Unleashed: Aby Warburg, Dürer and Mantegna

An examination of masterpieces by Dürer and Mantegna to shed light on the idea of the 'pathos formula', one of the most important concepts of one of the most influential art historians and cultural theorists of the 20th century, the Hamburg banker’s son Aby Warburg (1866–1929). More

Michelangelo's Dream

"The whole thing is a curatorial and scholarly triumph ... the catalogue essays do full justice to the power of Michelangelo's intellect, as well as to hand and eye" (Richard Dorment, Telegraph). Michelangelo's Dream (or Il Sogno) is one of the finest of all Italian Renaissance drawings and is amongst The Courtauld Gallery's greatest treasures. Executed at the height of the artist's career, this magnificent work exemplifies Michelangelo's unrivalled skill as draughtsman and his extraordinary power of invention. More

Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement

Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement is the first serious study of Rodin’s late sculptural series known as the Dance Movements. Exploring the artist’s fascination with dance and bodies in extreme acrobatic poses, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue give an account of Rodin’s passion for new forms of dance – from south-asian dances to the music hall and the avant garde – which began appearing on the French stage around 1900. More

André Derain: The London Paintings

This is the first publication dedicated to the extraordinary series of paintings of London that André Derain produced at the height of his avant-garde notoriety, having been newly branded a Fauve or 'wild beast' in Paris for his uncompromising use of pure colour. More

Toulouse-Lautrec and Jane Avril: Beyond the Moulin Rouge

Accompanying an exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, London, this publication is the first to celebrate the important creative collaboration between the artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901) and his muse, the dancer Jane Avril (1868–1943). Avril was one of the stars of Moulin Rouge in the 1890s, and was nicknamed ‘La Mélinite’ after a form of explosive. More

Gabriel Münter: The Search for Expressionism - OUT OF PRINT

This is the first book to consider Lewis’s drawing as a distinct contribution to his art, despite the importance he attributed to draughtsmanship. Lewis wrote that the line in drawing was nothing less than “the bone beneath the pulp”. “It is more difficult upon a piece of white paper ... to deceive the expert spectator than it is with a lot of oil paint upon a canvas.” This book traces his drawing from youthful figure studies and portraits to the surreal abstractions and dreamscapes of his later years. More

Walter Sickert: The Camden Town Nudes

This is the first publication devoted to Walter Sickert’s remarkable group of paintings of female nudes produced in and around Camden Town between 1905 and 1912 and now considered to be among his most important and provocative works. More

A Century of Silver: The Courtauld Family of Silversmiths

This book accompanies the new display of the Courtauld family silver collection in the Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery, which opened in June 2003. All the silver presented in the book was produced or hallmarked by three generations of the Courtauld family of goldsmiths. More

Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude

An exploration of the most vital and original subjects of one of the most important artists of the early 20th century – Egon Schiele’s extraordinary drawings and watercolours of male and female nudes. These are some of the most radical depictions of the human figure created in modern times More

Court and Craft: A Masterpiece from Northern Iraq

Accompanying a major scholarly exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, this book explores one of the most beautiful and enigmatic objects in The Courtauld’s collection: a brass container richly inlaid with gold and silver, imitating a lady’s textile or leather bag, and probably made in Mosul in northern Iraq around 1300. More

A Dialogue with Nature: Romantic Landscapes from Britain and Germany

Exploring aspects of Romantic landscape drawing in Britain and Germany from its origins in the 1760s to its final flowering in the 1840s, this exhibition catalogue considers 26 major drawings, watercolours and oil sketches from The Courtauld Gallery, London, and the Morgan Library and Museum, New York, by artists such as J.M.W. Turner, Samuel Palmer, Caspar David Friedrich and Karl Friedrich Lessing. More

Life, Legend, Landscape: Victorian Drawings and Watercolours -REDUCED PRICE

This catalogue presents a rich selection of Victorian drawings and watercolours from the important collection of The Courtauld Gallery, London. It features many previously unpublished works and ranges from informal preparatory drawings for paintings and sculptures to exquisite highly finished exhibition watercolours. More

The Courtauld Cézannes

The Courtauld Gallery holds the finest group of works by Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) in Britain. This is the catalogue to an exhibition showing the entire collection together for the first time, marking the culmination of The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 75th anniversary. The importance of the collection lies not only in its exceptionally high quality but also in its wide range, with seminal paintings and rarely seen drawings and watercolours from the major periods of the artist’s long career. More

Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence: The Courtauld Wedding Chests

Accompanying an exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, this catalogue explores one of the most important and historically neglected art forms of Renaissance Florence: cassoni – pairs of chests that were lavishly decorated with precious metals and elaborate paintings and were often the most expensive of a whole suite of decorative objects commissioned to celebrate marriage alliances between powerful families. More

Master Drawings from The Courtauld Gallery OUT OF PRINT

OUT OF PRINT: This beautiful and scholarly catalogue accompanies the exhibition Mantegna to Matisse: Master Drawings from The Courtauld Gallery, organized by Colin B. Bailey, Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator of The Frick Collection, and Stephanie Buck, Martin Halusa Curator of Drawings at The Courtauld Gallery. The drawings represent a survey of the extraordinary of Italian, Dutch, Flemish, German, Spanish, British and French artists active between the late Middle Ages and the early twentieth century. More

The Twentieth Century at the Courtauld

As a result of generous loans of over one hundred outstanding works of art, in 2002 the Courtauld Gallery was able to extend its collection further into the twentieth century. For the first time the Gallery was able to show historically coherent groups of works representing key developments in the art history of the early 20th century. This is the catalogue to the new display. More

Mondrian||Nicholson: In Parallel

This book accompanies an exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, London, that will be the first to offer a comprehensive account of the parallel artistic paths charted by Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson during the 1930's. It will bring together an extraordinary group of paintings and reliefs to show how each artist was driven by a profound belief in the potential of abstract art to attain the highest aestethic and spiritual power. More

Renoir at the Theatre: Looking at La Loge - OUT OF PRINT

This book accompanied an exhibition which united La Loge for the first time with Renoir's other treatments of the subject and with loge paintings by contemporaries, including Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas. Concentrating on the early years of Impressionism during the 1870s, the book explores how these artists used the loge to capture the excitement and changing nature of fashionable Parisian society. More

Cézanne's Card Players

Paul Cézanne’s famous series of paintings of peasants playing cards has long been considered among his most important and powerful works. The image of seated peasants, still and seeming silent, concentrating on their game of cards, can be seen as the human counterpart to the landscapes of Cézanne’s home countryside, notably Montagne Sainte-Victoire, which held such iconic significance for him. More

Medieval and Later Ivories in The Courtauld Gallery: Complete Catalogue

In 1966 Mark Gambier-Parry bequeathed to the Courtauld the art collection formed by his grandfather Thomas Gambier Parry (who died in 1888). In addition to important paintings, Renaissance glass and ceramics and Islamic metalwork, this included twenty-eight ivories. Since 1967 about half of the ivories have been on permanent display at The Courtauld, yet they have remained largely unknown, even to experts. This catalogue is the first publication dedicated solely to the collection. There are examples of the highest quality of ivory carving, both secular and religious in content, and a number of the objects are of outstanding interest. More

Soaring Flight: Peter Lanyon's Gliding Paintings

Accompanying a major exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, this catalogue explores a remarkable and unprecedented series of paintings by Peter Lanyon (1918–1964), one of Britain’s most important and original Post-War artists. Lanyon took up gliding seriously in 1959, and, freed from a land-bound perspective, he poured his new gliding experiences into his art, producing paintings that offer a thrilling sense of his encounters with the land, sea and air, collapsing the multiple perspectives of his flights into each new composition. More

Richard Serra: Drawings for the Courtauld

Celebrated for his unprecedented monumental steel sculptures and for his radical approach to drawing, Richard Serra is one of the most important and revered artists working today. This accompanies the first museum exhibition of Serra’s most recent drawings, which mark an exciting new departure for the artist. Made using thick black pigment applied to both sides of a clear plastic sheet, these drawings, which he calls ‘transparencies’, are extraordinary objects that challenge preconceptions of what constitutes a drawing. More

Temptation in Eden: Lucas Cranach's Adam and Eve OUT-OF-STOCK

The Courtauld’s Adam and Eve is arguably the most beautiful of Cranach’s fifty or more depictions of this subject. It brilliantly combines devotional meaning with pictorial elegance and invention. This exhibition catalogue explores the making and meaning of this Protestant and courtly masterpiece, and the contexts in which it was made and seen. It incorporates much conservation and technical research. More

Collecting Gauguin: Samuel Courtauld in the '20s

The Courtauld Gallery holds the most important collection of works in the UK by the Post-Impressionist master Paul Gauguin. Assembled by the pioneering collector Samuel Courtauld in the 1920s, it includes major paintings and works on paper as well as one of only two marble sculptures ever created by the artist. Accomanying the first in a series of special summer displays, Collecting Gauguin presents the complete collection and offers an opportunity to consider the contribution of Samuel Courtauld in developing the artist’s reputation in this country. More

Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings

An astonishing series of largely abstract Victorian watercolours produced by the long-forgotten spiritualist artist Georgiana Houghton (1814–1884). This catalogue accompanies the first exhibition of these remarkable works in the UK for nearly 150 years. More

The Young Dürer: Drawing the Figure

Accompanying an exhibition that examines the figure drawings of the young Albrecht Dürer, this catalogue focuses on his formative years from around 1490, when he completed his artistic training, to 1496, when he established himself permanently as a master in Nuremberg in southern Germany. This period included the so-called Wanderjahre or 'journeyman years', during which the artist travelled widely and was exposed to a range of new experiences. His drawings demonstrate the significance of these early influences in shaping his ambitious artistic personality. More

Bruegel to Freud: Prints from The Courtauld Gallery

The Courtauld Gallery houses one of the most significant collections of works on paper in Britain, with approximately 7,000 drawings and watercolours and 20,000 prints ranging from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Accompanying the second Summer Showcase at the Gallery, this book serves as an introduction to the largest but least well-known part of the Gallery’s outstanding collection – its holdings of prints. This selection of some thirty particularly remarkable and intriguing examples spans more than 500 years and encompasses a variety of printmaking techniques. More

Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901

1901 was a momentous and turbulent year for the nineteen-year-old Picasso. He spent the first part of it in Madrid but his sights were firmly set upon becoming a great painter in Paris, the capital of the arts. This fully illustrated catalogue, with essays by leading and emerging scholars in the field of Picasso, tells the remarkable story of Pablo Picasso's breakthrough year – 1901 – as an artist. It brings together an extraordinary group of paintings to explore his rapid artistic development during this single year which launched his career and reputation in Paris. More

Frank Auerbach: The London Building Sites 1952–62

This catalogue accompanied the first exhibition to bring together the seminal group of paintings of London building sites by Frank Auerbach (born 1931). Produced between 1952 and 1962, the paintings are among the most profound responses made by any artist to the post-war urban landscape. These works chart the early development of Auerbach’s remarkable approach to painting, for which he is celebrated as one of Britain’s greatest living artists. More

Jonathan Richardson By Himself

Jonathan Richardson (1667–1745) was one of 18th-century England’s most significant cultural figures. A leading portrait painter and influential art theorist, he also amassed one of the period’s greatest collections of drawings. But there was another, highly unusual dimension to his pursuits. In 1728, at the age of 61 and shortly before his retirement from professional life, Richardson began to create a remarkable series of self-portrait drawings. Not intended for public display, these works were unguarded explorations of his own character. More

Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album

This groundbreaking reconstruction of Goya’s so-called ‘Witches and Old Women’ album will offer rich insights into the artist’s concerns and preoccupations and will immeasurably deepen our understanding of the artist. With its themes of witchcraft, madness and nightmares, the predominant imagery of the album offers a particularly important perspective on the development of Goya’s interest in old age and its relationship to the fantastic and diabolical. More