The Beauty of the Line. Della Bella is considered to have been one of the most important Italian artists of the 17th century. He produced an extensive oeuvre of more than 1000 etchings and over 3000 drawings. The exhibition features around 100 works.
Curated by Dr. David Klemm
Stefano della Bella (1610–1664) is considered to have been one of the most important Italian artists of the 17th century. He produced an extensive oeuvre of more than 1000 etchings and over 3000 drawings, but while his prolific graphic output has been presented on several occasions over the last decades, The Beauty of the Line is the first comprehensive exhibition worldwide dedicated to his superb draughtsman- ship. The presentation of around 100 works, testifies to the outstanding quality and range of Stefano della Bella’s art.
He was mainly active in Florence, Rome and Paris, and his practice is characterised by great diversity in terms of subject matter. His ability to capture everyday life in all its different facets set him apart from most of his contemporaries. Della Bella’s studies show him to be an attentive chronicler and astute ob- server of his surroundings. His oeuvre contains numerous depictions of noblemen, soldiers, farmers, herdsmen and labourers, as well as images of mothers with their children; other favourite subjects were animals and ships, and he also documented cavalcades, cityscapes and ancient monuments. A number of hauntingly beautiful images on the theme of death and some highly imaginative ornamental and costume designs round off his oeuvre. Much of the fascination of Stefano della Bella’s art derives from his unmis- takeable and extremely skilled drawing style.
The exhibition is a collaboration with the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, which is also the main lender. Further works are loaned from the Louvre, Paris, the British Museum, London, the Royal Collection, Windsor, the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rom and the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue available from the museum shops for 29,80 Euro and online at www.freunde-der-kunsthalle.de.
Image: Stefano della Bella (1610 – 1664), Sechs Frauen als Allegorien der Wissenschaften, 1650er Jahre. Feder in Braun über schwarzem Stift, grau laviert, 184 x 144 mm © Hamburger Kunsthalle / bpk. Photo: Christoph Irrgang
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