After a busy weekend with my friend, I saw her off at the station and then headed to the National Gallery. One of their current exhibitions, on display in the Sainsbury Wing, looks at German Renaissance paintings.
Strange Beauty: Masters of the German Renaissance explores how artists such as Hans Holbein the Younger, Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach the Elder were viewed and portrayed in their time. For many decades the Italian Renaissance was held to be superior, and many German works were viewed as excessive or ugly. On a more positive note, they were often admired for their technical mastery, and their representation of a German national identity.
The exhibition has been criticised for not borrowing works of art from Germany, and instead focusing on works from the Gallery’s own collection. Reviewers have also described it as lacking excitement or anything new to say. These are all valid arguments, but as someone who is a complete amateur when it comes to art, I enjoyed this focus on the German Renaissance and it helped me to view these familiar works of art in a new way.