The Insect

On Depiction in the Art of Drawing and in Science
05/12/2023 to 08/20/2023

Insects are among the earliest visual renderings created either with an artistic or ritual intention. The oldest known rendition of a beetle is a small sculpture made of coal, ca. 25,000–30,000 years old. During the Renaissance in particular, insects often appeared in painting and especially in drawing and printmaking. Both artists and scientists have always expressed the exquisite beauty of these tiny living creatures in their drawings.

This exhibition will show the fascination in these animals that since the Renaissance has resulted in wonderful, often quite meticulous drawings. Several of these works are dedicated to the unease that many of these animals can trigger in human beings. It is striking that scientific renderings of insects from the very beginning until today reveal highly artistic qualities and artistic representations have a great claim to scientific accuracy. Numerous works were created according to the motto: “To really understand what you see, draw it.”

Curators: Dr. Thomas Köllhofer, Susanna Baumgartner (assistant curator)