Getty Museum presents ‘ZEITGEIST: Art in the Germanic World’
In this quite ambitious exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum we get an impression of a time period that was most defining for the ‘Germanic world’ of the 1800 and 1900 . Not only was a young German nation officially formed by unifying its many kingdoms and dukedoms under one Prussian crown (1871), but this time period was also shaped by important movements like the romantic Sturm und Drang Zeit in literature as part of the German Romantic movement in all, which ran in opposition to the age of enlightenment. The industrial revolution during that time and the rise of psychoanalysis not only influenced but also shaped modern life with a lasting effect, and found its representation in the arts as well.
As much as Johann Wolfgang von Geothe is know as one of the important representatives of the Sturm and Drang Zeit with his novel, “The Sorrows of Young Werther” (Die Leiden des jungen Werthers), the painter and sculptor Caspar David Friedrich is considered to be an icon of the German Romantic movement in the fine arts.
Prominently featured in the exhibition are Caspar David Friedrich and Phillip Runge representing German Romanticism, followed by artists like Gustav Klimt and Franz Kupka from the Vienna Secession, a movement of the late 19th century with the goal of reforming the applied arts so that they would keep up with modern life.
Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum states that “German Romantic drawings, paintings, and prints are rare in this country… . This exhibition offers our visitors a rare insight into this fascinating and increasingly influential period in the history of art through works that are by turns dark and brooding, exhilarating and affirming.”
ZEITGEIST: Art in the Germanic World, 1800-1900 is on view until May 17, 2015 at the J. Paul Getty Musuem, Getty Center.
Source: Getty Center – The Getty
Image: Caspar David Friedrich – “Abbey among Oak Trees”. (wikimedia)