–  Clemens Sels Museum Neuss

Italy so close

Johann Anton Ramboux (1790-1866)

2016 marked the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the death of Johann Anton Ramboux (1790-1866). On the occasion of this anniversary, the Clemens Sels Museum Neuss honored the artist with an exhibition of nearly one hundred watercolors from the fascinating work complex "Museum Ramboux".

The works were created on several trips Ramboux made to Italy between 1816 and 1842. They show his unique recreations of masterpieces of Italian art from the early Middle Ages to the 16th century.

Born in Trier, Ramboux initially received his artistic training with Jacques-Louis David in Paris. After stops in Trier and in Munich, where he was enrolled at the Academy, he went to Rome. Once there, he quickly joined the Nazarene circle of artists. The ideas pursued by the group for the renewal of art determined his work. In the following years, the artist made several trips south of the Alps, during which he produced a large number of drawings, sketchbooks and watercolors based on frescoes, murals and mosaics. He visited places still popular with travelers to Italy, such as Ravenna, Assisi, Siena and Rome.

In many cases, Ramboux's works represent the earliest detailed color reproductions of paintings, which accounts for their special value. But they are much more than simple copies. The artist inscribes his own very special aesthetic on his watercolors, reinventing the paintings in his own way.

The unique prints are part of the collection of the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf. A cooperation made the generous loan for the Neuss show possible. Until now, the "Museum Ramboux" has never been presented with comparable unity.


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