Writing and Image

Artists of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries devise unusual ways to integrate writing into their works. Fascinated by the shapes of the letters, they create alphabets in which the bodies of humans and animals stand in for the strokes of the pen. Dialogues, legends, and titles on banderoles bring images to life and help the beholder make sense of them. These elements appear in portraits and depictions of biblical scenes, but also in illustrations of historic events. The exhibition showcases selected eminent works from the Kupferstichkabinett to shed light on the multifaceted interplay between writing and image.