Towards the end of the 19th century a fundamental change occurs in the conception of the nude. A generation of young, avant-garde artists aspires to break with the academic traditions of depicting the naked body. The copying of antique statues or of models in classical poses is replaced by people – mostly women – from their personal surroundings. Parallel to the Lebensreform mouvement’s nudism, a completely new image of the body is also emerging in art: without any embellishment and freed from the restriction to religious, mythological or historical motifs.

The exhibition focuses on paintings, drawings and graphic works by German artist Lovis Corinth (1858–1925), in whose work variations of the nude occupy a central place, from the model study in the studio to the ironic view on classical antiquity to sensual and intimate scenes. Together with works by some of Corinth’s contemporaries (Albert Weisgerber, Max Slevogt, Hans Purrmann, Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas), the exhibition highlights an epoch in transition.
In addition, early photographs are shown that influenced nude studies at the time. They were used as visual aids at the art academies where they partially replaced the living model. Very painterly photographs from Edward Steichen’s Pictorialist phase serve as a counterpoint to these anatomical studies.

Selected works by Luxembourg artists such as Corneille Lentz, Joseph Kutter and Jean Schaack provide an outlook on the further development of nude painting in the 20th century; following their studies in the European art capitals and inspired by French Impressionism and later by German Expressionism, these artists adopted the new approaches to nude painting.

In cooperation with Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover and with special support of Albert-Weisgerber-Stiftung St. Ingbert and Landesmuseum Mainz


16 March > 16 June 2019