Dürer was here – A Journey becomes Legend
The Purchased Emperor – Charles V’s Coronation and a Changing World
Bon Voyage! Travelling in Contemporary Art

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.

On 7th October 2020, 500 years to the day since Albrecht Dürer’s arrival in Aachen, a triad of exhibitions will celebrate that 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 Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum 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.

The Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum is organising this exhibition in partnership with the National Gallery in London, where the show will also take place, in a modified form, from 13th February to 16th May 2021 under the title “Dürer’s Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist”.

In its parallel exhibition, “The Purchased Emperor – Charles V’s Coronation and a Changing world”, the Centre Charlemagne – Neues Stadtmuseum Aachen will focus on the magnificent rise – and ultimate failure – of the first and last “Universal Emperor” and his global aspirations.

In its exhibition, “Bon Voyage! Travelling in Contemporary Art”, the Ludwig Forum for International Art will be showcasing contemporary artistic positions on the theme of “creative journeys”.