Das Kunstkammerregal (the art cabinet shelf)
20. September to 1. December 1996
In the mid-17th century, when arts and crafts, objects of natural history, paintings and curiosities were stored together in a single room, the Hamburg artist Georg Hinz painted a number of open art cabinet shelves using the technique of optical illusion.
Hinz thus originated an individual and unmistakable pictorial form which remains closely linked to his name. Although his shelf paintings reflect the Baroque predilection for grand displays, the individual objects within them are submitted to a strict order and are presented as far as possible in their entirety, without overlap. The Kunsthalle owns a major work from the year 1666, other no less magnificent works are to be found in the collections of Schloß Sanssouci, the Statens Museum in Copenhagen, Schloß Friedenstein/Gotha and others.
This exhibition unites the art cabinet shelf paintings and places them in their historical context. Paintings by Hinz' contemporaries Hoogstraeten and Gijsbrechts - both masters of trompe l'oeil painting - will also be shown, as will Hinz' predessessors from the first half of the century, including a major work by Georg Flegel.
As useful and necessary as it is for museums today to be specialized, it is nevertheless also interesting to look back to a time when all areas of life were related to each other and when the museums's aim was to povide nothing less than a mirror of the entire cosmos.
Hamburger Kunsthalle Glockengießerwall 20095 Hamburg
Telephone 040 - 428 131 200 Facsimile 040 - 428 54 34 09