There is still tremendous interest in the figure and oeuvre of the Nuremberg painter Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528). Even during the early modern period, a cult following arose around this artist. In the local region the Guelphs collected and exhibited paintings, woodcarvings, copperplate prints and teaching texts by the Nuremberg master. Drawing on the holdings of the Herzog August Bibliothek and the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, the exhibition Welfen Sammeln Dürer (Guelphs Collecting Dürer) focused on the artist’s reception at the court of the Wolfenbüttel and Brunswick Guelphs.

Evidence of these dukes’ passion for collecting is provided by a number of diverse exhibits, including Dürer’s printed works, editions of his writings and even a copy of a mathematics textbook displaying the master’s handwritten notes. Documents penned by the Guelph dukes offer insight into their particular interest in all forms of objects relating to Dürer. Books and portraits focusing on the artist himself and his life and work reflect repeated surges of enthusiasm for Dürer from the 16th to 18th centuries and illustrate how the artist was transformed into a role model and inspiration for coming generations.


The exhibition Welfen Sammeln Dürer was held in the Bibliotheca Augusta’s museum from 20 October 2019 to 9 February 2020.

It was accompanied by the publication Welfen Sammeln Dürer, edited by Klaus Niehr and Judith Tralles, an exhibition catalogue published by the Herzog August Bibliothek, no. 100, 2019. It contains 304 pages with 190 illustrations, most of them in colour, ISBN 978-3-447-11273-4, hardback edition €39.80

The exhibition was curated by art historian Judith Tralles.