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The Art of the Enlightenment

FROM 22/04/2011 TO 31/03/2012

Location: Beijing, People's Republic of China

Main organizer(s): Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden/Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München/National Museum of China 
Partners EU:
Partners China: /


In Europe during the age of Enlightenment art took on new importance, becoming a seminal force and instrument of aesthetic education. Technological developments and social changes precipitated the dissemination of images into every area of the public sphere. The artist became a public authority, a critical observer, a genius and revolutionary, and the idea that art is capable of changing mankind and society came to define an entire era. The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen Munich have made this era the subject of the first international guest exhibition at the reopened National Museum of China. Including 600 works from their exceptionally rich holdings, among them masterpieces by Friedrich, Fuseli, Gainsborough, Watteau, Piranesi and Goya, they present the art of the Enlightenment in its entire scope, from painting, sculpture and graphic arts to crafts and fashion to precious scientific instruments, creating a panorama that transports visitors back to 18th century Europe.