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Nuremberg-Durer & Prechtl 2012

5 August 2012

Report from Nuremberg on Albrecht Dürer & Matthew Matthias Prechtl in 2012




While All-the-World knows Nuremberg’s Most-Famous-Product, Nürnberger-Lebküchen—not to overlook its 1930s-Affinity with the Annual-Nazi-Partei-Tag, with Massed-Banners, Massed-Torches, & Masses-of-Masses of Wehrmacht & SS-Troops—how many really Know the Masterworks of its Favorite-Son: Albrecht Dürer?

Now—until 2 September 2012—an amazing Dürer-Installation is on-view at the Germanisches-National-Museum in Nuremberg.

But this is not a Dürer-Retrospective: That would take an Entire-Museum, not just a few Select-Galleries… 

No: this is The Early Dürer—the largest Dürer-Exhibition in Germany in 40-Years!

Albrecht Dürer was already a Lehrling-Goldsmith—an Art-&-Craft he learnt from his Father—when he decided to Apprentice himself to one of Nuremberg’s Master-Painter-Engravers.

As a Free-Imperial-City—a Reichstadt, under the Holy-Roman-Emperor—the Citizens of Medieval- Nuremberg did not have-to-answer to a King, Duke, or Prince.

Instead, they were led by the Patrizer-Familie—or Patrician-Families—who set the Standards for Culture, Religion, Education, Invention, Entrepreneurship, & Trade.

Not only was Nuremberg the Now-Legendary-Home of Richard Wagner’s Meistersingers, it was also the Center of Innovations in Printing-&-Engraving.

Here, in 1493, was printed Hartmann Schedel’s Nürnberger-Weltchronik, one of the Oldest-Printed-Books, with Fabulous-Wood-Block-Prints of the Cities-of-the-World.

Some of them as-yet Unseen by Western-Eyes

From such Talented-Artist-Masters, Albrecht Dürer rapidly mastered himself all the Tricks-of-the-Trade, soon exceeding all his Teachers to become the Pre-eminent-Artist of his Time.

But Dürer was not content with becoming a Master-of-Printed-Images or of Strikingly-Colorful- Religious-Scenes & Painted-Portraits.

He also learned How-To-Market-His-Art—making him one of the Best & Most-Widely-Known-Artists of the Early-Renaissance.

In Addition, he became a Theoretician: A Master of Drawing-The-Human-Form.

A Master of Composition, of Colors, of Narrative…

The Current-Exhibition in Nuremburg offers more than 200-Major-Dürers from some of the World’s-Most-Famous-Museums.

Here, for example, is The Adoration of the Magi, on-loan from Florence’s prestigious Uffizi-Galleries.

From Vienna’s Albertina comes his Self-Portrait at the Age-of-13…

The Major-Section of this astounding & handsomely-designed Show is arranged in a kind of Chronological-Art-Labyrinth, doubling & curving-back on itself.

When it is crowded with Eager-Spectators—who must also Take-Time to read the Extensive-Captions & Explanatory-Wall-Texts—it’s No-Wonder there’s always a Waiting-Line.

It would be a Kunst-Mitzvah if this cleverly-designed Installation could be seen beyond Norimberga, but that’s not likely, given the extensive Loans.

But the Art-Narrative-Segment is not the only aspect of this Exhibition.

There’s also a "Peek-behind-the-Scenes” in the Dürer-Lab, showing recent Research-Developments in studying Dürer Prints-&-Paintings.

Not to overlook the Kids-Activity-Room: AD: All About Dürer…

For an Excellent-Overview of this Show, log-on to the Germanisches-National-Museum-Website. It has more Dazzling-Illustrations than we can ever place in this Brief-Report.


Of course, No-Trip to Nürnberg would be Complete without a Visit to the Historic-Dürer-House, now with the Dürer-Saal newly-opened.

But how about Dürer’s-Grave in the Sankt-Johannis-Friedhof?

The Tomb is surmounted by a Magnificent-Brass, celebrating Dürer & His-Accomplishments!

Nearby are similar Tombs & Brasses, celebrating the Masters who taught Dürer & who worked with him: such as Wilibald Pirckheimer!

But there is one Sad-Brass nearby—in the same Style—that Recalls the Brief-Life in Nuremberg of the Young-Daughter of the US-Consul: Appalachiacola Dunstan.

Who was this Young-American-Girl—who died so far from Home?

My Very-Own Dürer-Experience: Coming to War-Torn-Europe in the 1950s…

Vienna was divided into Four-Sectors. One for the Soviets; One for the French; One for the British, & One for the Americans.

Fortunately for me, the Albertina was in the American-Sector.

This Imperial-Treasure-House of Historic Sketches, Engravings, Etchings, & Prints was inaccessible to all but Bona-Fide-Scholars-&-Researchers.

As a Professor-Doktor, however, I was welcome to study the Original-Theatre-Designs of Serlio & Quaglio for the Imperial Hofburg-Theater-&-Oper.

Imagine My-Surprise, however, when I came across an Acid-Free-Box, containing Original-Dürer-Drawings!

Gingerly drawing-onto-my-hands Sterile-Cotton-Gloves, I withdrew Dürer’s famous Drawing of a Rabbit!

As for the Nürnberger-Weltchronik: Stopping-off in Barcelona in Summer-1956, I found an Intact-Copy in the Libreria-José-Porter.

It was priced at a mere $250. But I was saving to buy a $1,200-Volkswagen-Beetle…

Unfortunately, I didn’t know what the Nürnberger-Weltchronik actually was: One of the First & Rarest of Printed-Books!

It was printed only One-Year after Columbus made that Famous-Voyage—which ultimately-resulted in The-Knights-of-Columbus, among other Triumphs-of-Western-Civilization.

I did pay a Couple-of-Pesos for the Privilege of Razoring-Out the Two-Page-Spread Block-Print of Medieval-Venice from a formerly Intact-Copy of the Weltchronik…

My Dear-Late-Friend: Matthew Matthias Prechtl…

Visiting the Germanisches-National-Museum—where there is a Special-Gallery of the Unusual-Drawings & Engravings of Matthew Matthias Prechtl—I had hoped to be able to report on his Remarkable-Artistry.

Unfortunately, the Entire-Twentieth-Century is Closed-for-Repairs—or something like that—so No-Prechtls

My Old-Friend, MM Prechtl, was drafted into the Wehrmacht as a Teen-Ager, to fight in Soviet-Russia.

Taken Prisoner, he was put-to-work—Slave-LaborBreaking-Stones in a Quarry for Six-Long-Years.

When he returned to his Native-Nuremberg, he began his long & amazing Career as a Satiric-Artist-Caricaturist, capturing the Feuds, Fads, & Foibles of Post-War-Germany & its Horrific-Nazi-Past.

This did not make him Very-Popular with his Fellow-Nurembergers…

His Work is largely-known—if at all—in America for his G. Schirmer’s Poster, featuring Musicians playing in Beethoven’s-Bountiful-Hair.

But he also provided OP-ED-Illustrations for the New-York-Times.

Prechtl had only one Exhibition in Manhattan: at Goethe-Haus, opposite the Met-Museum.

Few came, aside from Ethnic-Germans & Germanophiles

I was there, often—not only because I had known MM since the Late-1950s—but also because I have, over-time, amassed the Largest-Collection in the USA of Prechtl-Posters & Satiric-Prints.

In fact, when I was still writing for Opera-News, I was able to enlist Prechtl for Two-Covers: One of them featuring Richard Wagner in Venice, in a Gondola with a Voluptuous-Nude, floating in the Hair of King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

The other Cover featured Alban Berg, on his Centenary, supported by Lulu & that Unfortunate-Soldier, Wozzeck—who Murdered his Unfaithful-Wife-Marie

But, if you’d like to see the Prechtls in the Germanisches-National-Museum, log-on to the Website. It has more Dazzling-Illustrations than can ever be placed in this Brief-Report.


If you’d like to buy some Prechtl-Prints, log-on to His-Agent’s-Website…


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