Albrecht Dürer, Portrait of Frederick of Saxony,n.d. Silverpoint and black chalk on light pink prepared paper, 17.8 x 14.0 cm (7 x 5 1/2 inches). École des Beaux-Arts, Paris.

SACRAMENTO, CA.- In its only North American presentation, The Age of Albrecht Dürer: German Drawings from the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, has opened at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. The panoramic exhibition of German drawings is centered on Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), considered one of the greatest and most influential artists of the Northern Renaissance and a pivotal figure of German humanism. This iconic artist's life is seen in an exceptional selection from one of the world's best drawings collections. 

The exhibition presents new research and new discoveries to create a better understanding of a unique artist, his world, and his magnificent legacy. Working at the turn of the 16th century, Dürer revolutionized the arts of drawing, painting, and printmaking. A contemporary of the Italian painter Raphael, he enjoyed similar universal fame — the two artists exchanged drawings as tokens of esteem. 


Urs Graf, Couple of peasants dancing  © ENSBA Paris

The Age of Albrecht Dürer explores the artist and his influence on generations of painters, printmakers, and humanists. The drawings in the exhibition are organized into three main sections, including the Northern Renaissance, with four drawings and ten prints by Dürer, as well as works by his precursors and artists who spent time in his workshop; German Mannerism and the princely courts; and artists of the Imperial court under Rudolf II. Through the objects in the exhibition, ranging from studies for paintings and prints to highly finished drawings meant as works in their own right, visitors will gain a view into the history and culture of an entire century.  

This exhibition brings to Sacramento more than 100 drawings, prints, and illustrated books from the renowned École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, the national art academy that has trained artists for almost four centuries and continues to do so today. In conjunction with the show, objects from the Crocker's renowned collection of early German drawings are being featured, including Female Nude with a Staff, the first Dürer drawing to enter the United States.  


Pieter Stevens, Winter, n.d. Pen and brown ink, brush and brown and blue washes, incised, 21.1 x 33.8 cm. École des Beaux-Arts. Inv. no. Mas. 2006.

"We are delighted to bring the iconic artist Albrecht Dürer and his world to Sacramento's public. The exhibition is a unique opportunity to explore the world-renowned collection of the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, whose German drawings complement the Crocker's own strength in this area," said William Breazeale, the Crocker's curator for European art and the coordinator of the Sacramento venue. The exhibition is on view Nov.1, 2015, through Feb. 14, 2016. 

The Crocker Art Museum was the first art museum in the Western U.S. and is one of the leading art museums in California today. Established in 1885, the Museum features one of the country’s finest collections of Californian art, exceptional holdings of master drawings, a comprehensive collection of international ceramics, as well as European, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in downtown Sacramento.


Peter Holtswijller, Sheet of Studies: Fantastic Animals, 1566. Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash and white opaque watercolor on beige laid paper, incised, 18.0 x 24.8 cm. École des Beaux-Arts. Inv. no. 0.1650.