Ferdinand von Rayski’s key work “Hunting Break in the Wermsdorf Forest”, painted in 1859, will be on display from 25 May 2017, on loan from the Musée de la chasse et de la nature in Paris, as part of an exhibition on the second floor of the Albertinum. This important, many- figured representation of a Wettin hunting party is being shown in Dresden for the first time. This provides the opportunity to compare it with Rayski’s “Study of the Wermsdorf Forest”, which has long been one of the major works of the Albertinum.
Forests and trees – mighty oaks on broad clearings and lush green in hidden corners – are among the frequently depicted motifs in paintings dating from the first half of the 19th century. In the Romantic era the German forest became a symbol of national identity and self-confidence, and at the same time a focus of artistic reflection. Another related topic is hunting, which in that period was a means of expressing social and princely prestige.
From 13 June 2017 these Romantic and early Realist paintings will be joined by a contemporary work by Katharina Grosse consisting of a painted tree root and two aluminium elements, thus illustrating continuity and change in the treatment of this subject and acting as a kind of corrective. This is the first time that a work by Grosse, who combines an abstract, dynamic and multidimensional form of painting with real objects, is being presented in Dresden. The complex three-dimensional form is both relativised and accentuated by the painting. In this process, the colour is optically detached from its support and becomes an event in its own right.