Questions about the moral qualities and virtues of politicians have very much come back to the forefront of current debate. Questions about what we, as citizens, should do in case politicians and leaders lapse and fall into tyranny, seem more pertinent than ever. Such questions played vital roles in Renaissance art and thought; they are at the heart of the exhibition Sturm der Bilder: Bürger, Moral und Politik in den Niederlanden, 1515-1616, which we open on Thursday 24 November.

The university of Göttingen holds a collection of about 4000 Dutch prints, many of them from the 16th-century. From 25 November until 11 December we show a selection of 33 prints, all of them addressing key artistic, moral and political issues. The exhibition features Renaissance highlights and addresses Reformation problems –in particular those that dominated the Dutch Revolt, i.e. questions of freedom, tyranny and war. The exhibition shows works of Lucas van Leyden, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert, Maarten van Heemskerck, the much neglected Willem van Haecht, and Hendrick Goltzius. The exhibition opens with Dürer’s famous Erasmus-portrait and ends with another famous print, the joint celebration of the theologian Johannes Uytenbogaert by Rembrandt and Grotius. The exhibition is also an encounter between old master prints and modern reproduction technology.

In terms of ideas and selection the exhibition is the work of Ivan Gaskell and Martin van Gelderen, greatly benefitting from the cooperation with Anne-Katrin Sors and her curatorial team at the Göttingen Art Collection.

The exhibition runs from Friday, 25 November until Sunday, 11 December, our Open Day/Tag der offenen Tür – Winter in the Sternwarte; opening hours 11-17:00; closed on Monday. Entrance is free. We will collect funds for the much needed restoration of one of the Old Dutch Masters in the Göttingen Art Collection, The Dance Company by Bartholomeus van Bassen.