Hunting during the Renaissance Era

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Hunting during the Renaissance Era

Michelangelo Hall - 25 Szeptember 2021 - 9 January 2022

The series of Augustin Hirschvogel’s (1503-1553) fifty-three designs for stained glass windows with hunting as their subject is a cultural-historical rarity. The sheets present the dispatch of various kinds of game (stags, wild boars, bears, wolves, foxes, hares and squirrels) and fowl, with some of the works depicting falconry and others fishing. Some half of the compositions executed in Nuremberg between 1530 and 1536 are rectangular with the remainder being roundels. The majority of the latter are reverse, more elaborate companion pieces for the rectangular drawings, while there are also scenes drawn in one or three versions. Stained glass windows were painted in the 16th century based on these designs. Reproductions of some of the surviving fifteen windows are displayed at the exhibition. The introduction of the Reformation in Nuremberg in 1525 resulted in the cessation of commissions for stained glass windows in churches, and thus the Hirschvogel family, specialised in painting stained glass, turned to producing smaller works with mainly secular themes. Augustin was the versatile member of the family, who was active as a stained glass painter, etcher, cartographer and mathematician. His drawing style was primarily influenced by his elder contemporary, Albrecht Dürer. The exhibited drawings are the most varied hunting representations of the period, which, based on descriptions in books on hunting, widely popular at the time, evoke the venatic practices pursued by the elite as a pastime, and also by the lower social classes. The majority of these techniques were known from the Middle Ages but Hirschvogel set the scenes in a contemporary landscape, with the depiction of rifles representing a novelty. The designs for the stained glass windows were owned by a Nuremberg collector, Paulus Praun, at the end of the 16th century and were later purchased by Prince Nicolaus II Esterházy, whose collection, including the drawings, was acquired by the Hungarian state. A few hunting scenes were displayed at various exhibitions in the past, however, this is the first time that the whole series has been shown to the public.


Hunting during the Renaissance Era

25 Szeptember 2021 - 9 January 2022

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