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Magical Capri. A Paradise for Artists

Kronberger Malerkolonie
Kronberg, GER
2.4. - 25.6.2023

Magical Capri. A Paradise for Artists / Zauberhafts Capri. Ein Paradies für Künstler

Painters, sculptors, writers and musicians from all over Europe travelled to Capri to enjoy the magic of the island and of the island and to be inspired for their work.

The island of Capri, situated in the Gulf of Naples, was already a popular retreat in ancient times. In 26 AD, Emperor Tiberius declared the island his seat of government, and in his last years he repeatedly retreated here. Later, Saracen raids made it necessary to build city walls. After that, things quietened down around Capri, even though in the 16th/17th century a detour to the island was part of the educational journey (Grand Tour) of young noblemen and wealthy citizens. Until the early 19th century, apart from Italians, it was mainly the English and French who travelled to the “dangerous rocky island”. The travelogues of Johann Gottfried Herder and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe sparked the interest of German artists. With the rediscovery of the Blue Grotto by the painter and writer August Kopisch and his colleague Ernst Fries in 1826, Capri became the destination of dreams, especially for the Romantics, who believed they had found the Blue Flower there, the symbol of the lost paradise. Generations of painters were fascinated by the beauty of the scenic motifs and especially those of its inhabitants. “The inhabitants of Capri are characterised by fine forms […]. The colony of painters who are constantly here (some are here for years) is no less attracted by the beauty of the human race than by nature” enthused the art historian Carl Justi in 1867. The painters and their pictures made the island widely known and a lively tourist trade developed. For example, the notary Giuseppe Pagano, whose house had been open to strangers since 1818, opened the “Hotel Pagano” in 1857, which quickly had to expand its room capacity. In the immediate vicinity was the “Birreria di Monaco” (Munich Beer Tavern) from the end of the 1880s, which was named “Zum Kater Hiddigeigei” in 1889. There was not only Pschorr beer and a large selection of wine, but also German newspapers and a permanent art exhibition.
The Dachau Picture Gallery, the first stop of the exhibition, shows around 80 paintings and graphic works by German and Italian painters from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among them are works by the painters Ludwig Dill and Arthur Langhammer, who stayed on Capri around 1880 and later played an important role in the Dachau artists’ colony.

A catalogue with 144 p. and numerous images is availableavailable for EUR 20 at the museum shop.