Dürer – Charles V – Aachen
3 Exhibitions in Aachen


1520 – Charles V and Albrecht Dürer in Aachen

In 1520, two important historical figures journeyed to Aachen: Charles V, who was to be ceremonially crowned in Aachen Cathedral; and Albrecht Dürer, one of the greatest artists of his time. Dürer wanted to persuade the freshly crowned monarch to renew the privileges the artist had forfeited on the death of Emperor Maximilian I.

2020 – Three Exhibitions in Aachen

From October 2020 to October 2021, a series of three exhibitions will celebrate the historic meeting between the artist and the monarch – and Dürer’s exceedingly productive final journey,which led him via Aachen to the Netherlands and took a whole year to complete.

The main exhibition, “Dürer was here – A journey becomes legend”, in the Suermond Ludwig Museum will open in July 2021 as the last of the three exhibitions, constituting the dramatic climax of the series. It will retrace the stages of the Renaissance artist’s journey to the Netherlands (1520/21) on the basis of Dürer’s own travel journal. About 140 first class exhibits from museums and collections in Europe and the USA will be brought together for the show. The masterpieces created by Dürer himself while on his journey will be complemented by works of renowned contemporary artists that Dürer met in the Netherlands – artists who were inspired by him and who inspired him.
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The start of the series will take place at the Centre Charlemagne – New City Museum Aachen. Opening on 23rd October 2020, 500 years to the day since the coronation of Charles V, this museum’s exhibition, “The Purchased Emperor – Charles V’s Coronation and a Changing world”, will focus on the magnificent rise – and ultimate failure – of the first and last “Universal Emperor” and his global aspirations.
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In the second stage of the series, the Ludwig Forum for International Art will be showcasing contemporary artistic positions on the theme of “creative journeys” in its exhibition, “Bon Voyage! Journeys in Contemporary Art”.
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