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20 MARCH – 26 JUNE 2011

Museum De Lakenhal is pleased to present the major exhibition Lucas van Leyden and the Renaissance, in cooperation with the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. For the first time ever, the most prominent Renaissance artist of the Northern Netherlands will be showcased against the background of his contemporaries. The 250-plus top quality works are on loan from Dutch and international museums, such as the Louvre, the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum. Most of them will be on display in the Netherlands for the first time. This exhibition fits well into De Lakenhal’s policy to offer high-quality exhibitions of national or international significance based on sources from Leiden.

The exhibition features prints, drawings, paintings and altarpieces, and highlights the exceptional position Lucas held in the Northern Netherlands during the Renaissance. Works by internationally renowned contemporaries, such as painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer from Germany, landscape painter Joachim Patinir from Flanders, the Italian printmaker Marcantonio Raimondi , and the Leiden painters Aertgen van Leyden and Cornelis Engebrechtsz are also on display.

Lucas, the engraver
Lucas van Leyden (ca. 1494-1533) was recognised at an early age as a child prodigy, and was well known for his graphic art. Lucas introduced the iconography of the Italian Renaissance in the Northern Netherlands. His prints showing Biblical and profane scenes stood out because of their unparalleled, refined engraving technique and narrative quality. Neighbourly love, lawlessness and immorality were his favourite topics.  His reputation reached as far as Italy and Germany. He was not only appreciated by contemporary art connoisseurs and artists, but also by artist biographers such as Giorgio Vasari and Karel van Mander who highly praised him in their writings.

Lucas and Dürer  
Lucas’s meeting with Albrecht Dürer in Antwerp in 1521 was very significant. The two artists exchanged a large number of prints, and Dürer drew Lucas’s portrait. It was under Dürer’s influence that Lucas introduced the portrait as a new genre in the Northern Netherlands. The exhibition displays a substantial number of Dürer’s prints.

Lucas, the painter
After 1520, Lucas van Leyden painted several impressive triptychs, such as the Last Judgement (De Lakenhal), The Dance around the Golden Calf (Rijksmuseum), and Healing of the Blind Man of Jericho (Hermitage, St. Petersburg). These three famous works will be on display together for the very first time. The Last Judgement from De Lakenhal has been a crowd-puller for many years and is Lucas' only work that has remained in Leiden throughout its history

The comprehensive exhibition catalogue – only in Dutch and published by Ludion –  is available at € 29.90.


Lucas van Leyden

  Lucas van Leyden,
  The Last Judgment, detail of left panel,
  De Lakenhal Leiden