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31 Mar '23 16 Jul '23

Hugo van der Goes

  • Highlights
The Gemäldegalerie is dedicating a special exhibition to the most important Dutch artist of the second half of the 15th century from March 31 to July 16, 2023.

Hugo van der Goes (c. 1440-1482) belonged to the second generation of Old Netherlandish masters who followed the pioneers Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden. He was active in Ghent and Brussels, and his works were highly admired by his contemporaries and copied many times until the 17th century. In 1520 Albrecht Dürer still called him, like very few other artists, a "great master".

Monumental panel paintings

While in recent decades almost all important Dutch painters of the 15th and 16th centuries have been the subject of monographic exhibitions, Hugo van der Goes has remained exempt. This is probably due to both the rarity of his works and their often large format.

In the Gemäldegalerie there are two of these large-format works by Hugo van der Goes, which is why the collection lends itself like no other to a monographic exhibition.

The two monumental Berlin panel paintings, the Monforte Altarpiece (c. 1470) and the Nativity (c. 1480), will be the focus of the presentation. After extensive restoration over the past twelve years, both works are now presented in a previously unimagined freshness.

Numerous important loans from European and American collections will be grouped around these two works.

This is the first opportunity to compare the majority of the master's surviving works. In addition to paintings on wood and on canvas, a number of drawings will round out the picture of the artist's oeuvre.

Lost works

In addition, Hugo van der Goes' own panel paintings will be supplemented by various paintings that reproduce once famous compositions by the master, but lost in the original. This concerns, for example, the lost wings of the Monforte Altarpiece in Berlin or the often repeated depictions of an Adoration of the Magi and a Lamentation of Christ, of which more than 100 copies have been preserved.

Hugo's Succession

A final section of the exhibition is devoted to the painter's immediate successor. It presents a number of outstanding works by other artists that are clearly influenced by Hugo van der Goes' style.

Hugo van der Goes was one of the most important European artists of the early modern period. The exhibition will bring together many of his works for the first time, making it an impressive visual experience. A

t the same time, various aspects of the artist and his work, the social and intellectual framework, and also the technical conditions of the paintings will be conveyed in a concise and comprehensible manner.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
Gemäldegalerie, Matthäikirchplatz 4, 10785 Berlin