The Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House - Strand
020 7848 2526
Illuminating Objects
dal 21/5/2013 al 28/7/2013

Segnalato da

Annie Roper

calendario eventi  :: 


Illuminating Objects

The Courtauld Institute of Art, London

German Miniature Picture Bibles Come Under the Spotlight. Produced by two sisters in the late 17th century, Johanna Christina Kusel drew the designs and Maria Magdalena engraved them.

comunicato stampa

The third display in the Illuminating Objects programme at The Courtauld Gallery focuses on the German miniature picture Bibles, Dess Alten Testaments Mittler: Dess Neuen Testaments Mittler. Produced by two sisters from Augsburg in the late 17th century, Johanna Christina (or Christiana) Küsel (also known as Kuslin) drew the designs and Maria Magdalena engraved them. Most 17th century 'thumb' bibles were for children but the Küsel books, with their intricate engravings, were most likely for use in private devotion. The research has been undertaken by Josephine Neil, who is taking her PhD in Theology and the Arts at King's College London. This is probably the first time that the miniature Bible picture books, acquired by Thomas Gambier Parry near Nuremberg in 1851, have ever been on public display.

The sisters belonged to a family of printmakers:
their grandfather was Matthaeus Merian, whose most famous engravings were for a history of the Bible published in Frankfurt in 1625, the Icones Biblicae. Christiana and Magdalena based their engravings on their grandfather's compositions, adapting them to suit the scale and purpose of their miniature books.

An increasing emphasis on private devotion and personal piety in German-speaking countries during the 17th century encouraged the production of engraved cycles. As stress was laid on individual piety as a way of drawing Christians closer to God, so the demands for books and images for private devotion grew but artists had to work with the religious constraints imposed by the Reformation. The theological context of the miniature picture Bibles stems from Luther's teaching, still prevalent in Augsburg more than a hundred years after his death in 1546. The Küsel sisters demonstrate the divide between the sinful exploits and human failings of the Old Testament and the promise of redemption inherent in the New.

For further information and images, please contact:
Sue Bond Public Relations
Tel. +44 (0)1359 271085, E-mail.

Opening: 1 May 2013

The Cortaud Gallery
Somerset House - Strand, London
Hours: Daily 10am – 6pm (last admission 5.30pm)
Admission: Adult: £6; Senior Citizen: £5; Part-Time Student: £5; International Student: £5
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Richard Serra
dal 18/9/2013 al 11/1/2014

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