Picture Perfect

Views from the 19th Century February 21, 2017 – October 27, 2019

The nineteenth century is the age of pictures. Visual art reached larger audiences than ever before. Artists—women and men—powerfully shaped the culture of their time, the spectrum of themes considered worthy of depiction was substantially enlarged, and "picture perfect" became the highest form of praise. The motifs that were invented then still define our ideas of romantic feeling, of sadness and beauty. Over the course of the nineteenth century, an enormously diverse universe of narrative visual art emerged whose capacity for formal innovation remains thrilling today.

"Picture Perfect" presents a reinterpretation of the Lenbachhaus’s collection of nineteenth-century art. The new display covers an unusually wide range of artistic styles and subjects in an effort to offer fresh perspectives on this rich visual culture. Complemented by photographs and film and audio samples, it charts the contemporary context in which themes and imageries originated and spotlights some of the ways in which the long nineteenth century continues to inform contemporary culture today.

In the nineteenth century, the people who visited exhibitions and collected art, who read books, journals, or travel guides expected to encounter vivid portrayals and entertaining stories, and so many artists tended to affirm existing realities rather than subject them to critical scrutiny, but we can also glimpse moments of irony that suggest an awareness that their productions were often based on models and façades. Still, the rapid growth of the imagery in public circulation meant that the world of individual experience was drastically enlarged.

In the hands of artists, natural scenes became the picture-postcard vistas we still like to take in. Traditional dresses and rural traditions were revived or, in some instances, invented out of whole cloth in the nineteenth century; some proved so compelling that people around the world now flock to Oktoberfests to perform as "Bavarians". In the German mind, the forest is central to the relationship between humans and nature, a visual and emotional space.

Painters who moved to the countryside not only interpreted the rural world, they also experimented with modern ways of life, and their art conveyed a sense of vitality unmarred by the constraints of urban decorum. As portraitists of the bourgeoisie and aristocracy, they helped define the public image of these social strata; they explored the relations between the sexes and class differences. The entire "grand theater" of the modern world waited to be cast into visual representations: phenomena as diverse as life in the historic past, the problems of the natural sciences, or the allure of spiritism.

Curated by Susanne Böller

Works

Hans Olde sen.
Caroline Großherzogin von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, um 1903
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Albrecht Adam
Gebirgslandschaft mit pflügendem Bauern, 1825
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Fritz Baer
Abend im Walde, um 1914
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Lovis Corinth
Frühstück in Max Halbes Garten, 1899
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Lovis Corinth
Selbstbildnis mit Skelett, 1896
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Lovis Corinth
Der Walchensee bei Mondschein, 1920
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Eduard von Grützner
Bauerntheater, 1882
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Ludwig Eibl
Jagdstillleben, 1874
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Carl Spitzweg
Ausruhende Spaziergänger, um 1865/1870
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Adolf Heinrich Lier
Buchenwald im Herbst, 1874
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Hugo von Habermann
Weiblicher Kopf, 1875
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Johann Georg von Dillis
Das Lechtal mit Blick auf die Zugspitze, um 1809
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Johann Georg von Dillis
Gebirgstal (Gegend bei Ruhpolding), um 1817
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Christian Ernst Bernhard Morgenstern
An der Amper bei Oberhausen, um 1840
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Christian Ernst Bernhard Morgenstern
Der Starnberger See, 1840er Jahre
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Philipp Helmer
Maler am Waldrand, undatiert
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Otto Seitz
Waldinneres mit Staffage, undatiert
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Johann Sperl
Wiese vor Leibls Atelier in Aibling, 1893
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Gabriel von Max
Das Wohnhaus des Künstlers in Ammerland, nach 1875
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Max Slevogt
Frau Luise Papenhagen, 1897
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Hugo Kotschenreiter
Nach der Jagd, 1875
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Hermann Baisch
Landschaft mit Viehherde, 1880
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Wilhelm Trübner
Brüsslerin mit blauer Krawatte, 1874
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Wilhelm von Kobell
Auf der Gaisalm, 1828
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Johann Georg von Dillis
Der Hirschgarten bei München, um 1830
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Johann Friedrich Hennings
Studie vom Königssee, 1870
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Wilhelm von Diez
Entwischt, 1890
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Franz von Defregger
Das brennende Seppenhaus in Reith, 1890
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Arthur Langhammer
Heimkehr von der Kirchweih, um 1895
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Eduard Schleich der Ältere
Oberbayrische Flußlandschaft bei Gewitter, um 1860
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Anna Hillermann
Selbstbildnis im Atelier, um 1900
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Thomas Theodor Heine
Der Angler, 1892
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Wilhelm von Kobell
Nach der Jagd am Bodensee, 1833
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Joseph Wopfner
Hänsel und Gretel, 1875
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Mathias Schmid
Die Feuerb'schau, um 1888
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Emilie von Hallavanya
Selbstbildnis, um 1905 (?)
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Ludwig von Löfftz
Waldinneres, undatiert
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Carl Rottmann
Vorgebirgslandschaft bei Murnau, vermutlich 1830er Jahre
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Carl Rottmann
Vorgebirgslandschaft bei Murnau, vermutlich 1830er Jahre
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Ludwig von Löfftz
Alte Frau in Interieur, 1871
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Heinrich Bürkel
Auftrieb zur Alm an der Benediktenwand, 1836
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Anton Zwengauer
Herbstmorgen, 1841
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Heinrich Bürkel
Der Untersberg bei Salzburg, 1863
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Otto Gebler
Waldinneres, undatiert
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Ludwig Gebhardt
An der Würm bei Mühltal, 1866
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Peter Kálmán
Atelierpause, um 1940
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Arthur Georg Freiherr von Ramberg
Zwei Grisaillen zu "Hermann und Dorothea", 1865
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Gotthardt Kuehl
Jagdstube, undatiert
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Carl Rottmann
Hirschjagd am Hintersee bei Berchtesgaden, 1823
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Thomas Theodor Heine
Wirtsgarten in Dachau, 1890
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Lovis Corinth
Die Logenbrüder, 1898/99
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Fritz Schider
Chinesischer Turm, um 1873
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Max Slevogt
Selbstbildnis mit schwarzem Hut, 1913
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Carl Strathmann
Karnevalszug (Maskentreiben), 1913
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Wilhelm Leibl
Kopf eines Blinden, um 1866/67
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Thomas Theodor Heine
Teufel, vor 1904
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Ferdinand Staeger
Nächtliche Musik, 1918/19
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Friedrich August von Kaulbach
Gruppe vom Münchner Künstlerfest von 1876, 1876
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Joseph Wopfner
Heuboot auf dem Chiemsee, um 1885
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Jules Fehr
Franziska mit dem Reiherhut, 1915
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Charlotte Berend-Corinth
Henny (Henriette Seckbach), 1905
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Oskar Zwintscher
Bildnis der Frau des Künstlers, 1901
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Gabriel von Max
Anthropologischer Unterricht, nach 1900
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Franz von Lenbach
Luitpold Prinzregent von Bayern, 1896
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Franz von Lenbach
Hüterbub auf einem Grashügel, um 1859
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Lovis Corinth
Der Pianist Conrad Ansorge, 1903
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Julius Hüther
Sonnenbad, 1911
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Albert von Keller
Die Auferweckung des Jairi Töchterlein, vor 1886
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Albert von Keller
Die Auferweckung des Jairi Töchterlein, vor 1886
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Albert von Keller
Die Auferweckung des Jairi Töchterlein, vor 1886
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Albert von Keller
Die Auferweckung des Jairi Töchterlein, vor 1886
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Christian Landenberger
Atelierszene, 1910
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Bruno Piglhein
Spiel im Freien, vor 1894
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Leo Putz
Spätherbst, 1908
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Fritz von Uhde
Engel im Atelier, 1910
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Albert Weisgerber
Sommertag, 1907
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