Museums throughout Europe are hosting thought-provoking and visually striking temporary exhibits this winter. It’s time for anniversary celebrations at two museums — the 200th at the Prado in Madrid and the 10th at the Hermitage in Amsterdam. It’s a great season for work by favorite artists including Rembrandt, Diego Velázquez and Andy Warhol, as well as some lesser-known painters including Canaletto and Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida. Look also for American art in Germany, Buddhist art in Switzerland and a unique study of LGBTQ representation in video games in Berlin.
‘Museo del Prado 1819-2019: A Place of Recollection‘ at the Prado in Madrid
Through March 10
It’s been 200 years since Spain’s Prado Museum opened and that’s reason for a special show dedicated to its history and influence. The bicentenary exhibition features the work of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, Picasso and Jackson Pollock, among others. Visitors will find 168 works of art – many on loan from other museums in Spain and throughout the world – alongside photographs, audiovisual installations and other documents to add depth to the items on display.
‘Rainbow Arcade‘ at Schwules Museum Berlin
Through May 13
Curators from Philadelphia and Germany have joined forces to create the world’s first exhibition on LGBTQ representation in video games. It covers more than 30 years’ worth of gaming history and features 12 playable games with on-theme titles like “Lesbian Spider-Queens from Mars” and “Dream Daddy.” The show also addresses questions about discrimination and stereotyping in video games and other entertainment. The LGBTQ Video Game Archive, created by Temple University’s Dr. Adrienne Shaw, is a driving force behind this exhibit. A digital catalog of the exhibition is being made available to continue the discussion after the exhibit ends.
‘Next Stop Nirvana – Approaches to Buddhism‘ at Museum Rietberg in Zurich
Through March 31
Learn about the Buddha, his teachings and the rituals performed by Buddhists at Switzerland’s museum dedicated to Eastern cultures this winter. The Zurich museum exhibit spans 2,500 years of Buddhist art and culture through nearly 100 sculptures, paintings, written works and objects from Asian countries and regions. One particular highlight is a collection of gemstones being seen for the first time in Switzerland.
‘Warhol to Richter‘ at the Albertina in Vienna
Through April 22
Though the Albertina was founded in 1776, it makes an effort to showcase contemporary art, both by Austrians and foreign artists. This winter’s exhibit features more than 70 pieces of art created in the second half of the 20th century by a variety of artists including Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Gottfried Helnwein, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz and Maria Lassnig. Several newly acquired works by Brigitte Kowanz, Los Carpinteros, Rainer Wölzl and Kiki Smith will be seen for the first time at the museum.
‘Canaletto’s Venice‘ at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Italy
Feb. 23 – June 9
Venetian artist Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto, spent his career painting his home and its iconic waterways. Venice’s Palazzo Ducale is now mounting an exhibition on the painter’s works, which are known for their juxtaposition of light and shadow, as well as a blurring of lines between dream and reality. He worked during the 18th century, a time of great artistic development and change throughout the Italian city. The museum is collaborating with Paris’ Grand Palais for this exhibit.
‘The Renaissance Nude‘ at the Royal Academy of Arts in London
March 3 – June 2
Nude art has been an important part of art history and training for young artists for centuries, but it’s not been a subject without controversy. This exhibit in London takes on nude art during the Renaissance period through five themes: religious art, mythological stories, anatomy, the role of patrons of the arts, and “Beyond the Ideal Nude,” which looks “at the vulnerability of the human condition.” It features a variety of media (about 90 works in total) and artists from across Europe, including Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Dürer, Jan Gossaert, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci.
‘Treasury! Masterpieces from the Hermitage‘ at the Hermitage Amsterdam
Through Aug. 25
The first of two major exhibits to mark the Hermitage’s 10th anniversary features masterpieces from its collection (as well as that of its partner museum the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, which boasts more than 3 million items). Along with work by lesser-known artists, the 250 pieces in the show include pieces by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Dürer, Anthony van Dyck, Henri Matisse, Rembrandt, Tintoretto, Diego Velázquez and Rogier van der Weyden. It covers a wide range of artistic time periods and geographic regions, including Greco-Roman, Western European and Asian.
‘Sorolla: Spanish Master of Light‘ at the National Gallery in London
March 18 – July 7
The last time that Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida’s work was the subject of an exhibition in London, he was promoted as “the world’s greatest living painter.” Now, the National Gallery has brought back the turn-of-the-century artist’s work in the first U.K. retrospective of him since 1908. Sorolla is known for his impressionist paintings of landscapes and seascapes. This exhibit covers those renowned works, as well as his portraits and scenes of Spanish life. The 60 works in the show come from public and private collections in Europe and the United States.
‘Once Upon a Time in America‘ at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, Germany
Through March 24
American art comes to Germany this winter at the charmingly named “Once Upon a Time in America” exhibit in Cologne. The show spans centuries (from 1650 to 1950) in order to include the colonial time period, American realism and abstract expressionism. Thanks to loans from museums in the U.S. and throughout Europe, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum has outdone itself by gathering 130 works by important American artists, including John Copley, Benjamin West, Edward Hopper, George Bellows, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and Jackson Pollock. Many of the pieces have never been seen before in Germany.
‘All the Rembrandts‘ at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Through June 10
As the museum housing the world’s largest collection of Rembrandt paintings, it’s fitting that the Rijksmuseum is going all out to mark the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death. “All the Rembrandts” kicks off the Amsterdam museum’s year of programming. This is the first time its full collection of 22 paintings, 60 drawings and more than 300 prints by the artist will be displayed together. Featured paintings include “The Night Watch” and “The Jewish Bride.” The show is being called a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to understand the Dutch artist better through a comprehensive exhibit on his work.
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