The Four Horsemen: Apocalypse, Death and Disaster  at the NGV

Jan Saenredam after Hendrick Goltzius 'Death surprising a young man', 1592 engraving 22.0 x 17.4 Special Collections, Baillieu Library, The University of Melbourne Gift of Dr J. Orde Poynton 1959 (1959.3801.000.000)

The NGV will hold a forum with two distinguished speakers discuss key themes of the exhibition with particular reference to Dürer’s Apocalypse, the end of time and the representation of death. Presented in association with ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, The University of Melbourne.

Keynote Speakers

Prof Jeffrey Chipps Smith, University of Texas ‘Dürer’s Apocalypse: The End of the World or the Beginning of a Career?

Prof Dagmar Eichberger, University of Trier, Germany ‘ The Rider of the Pale Horse: Depicting Death In Art’

Introduction to the Exhibition Cathy Leahy, Senior Curator, Prints & Drawings, NGV

Date: Fri 31 Aug, 2–4pm (exhibition viewing from 4–5pm)

Venue: Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road

Tickets: $18 Adult / $12 NGV Member / $14 Concession
Information & bookings: Ph +61 3 8662 1555, 10am-5pm daily,  Event Code P12120
About the Exhibition

Dramatic images of apocalypse, death, devils and witchcraft will feature as part of a fascinating look into early European thought in The Four Horsemen: Apocalypse, Death and Disaster, opening at the National Gallery of Victoria on 31 August.

The exhibition will present 120 illustrated books, prints, manuscripts and paintings from the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, when religious and social turmoil inspired dramatic images of death and catastrophe by European artists including Albrecht Dürer, Jacques Callot, Jacques de Gheyn II, Stefano della Bella and Francisco Goya.

The illustrated books, prints, manuscripts and paintings in the exhibition are predominantly drawn from the works of the NGV, including its internationally renowned Dürer collection. The exhibition also includes key loans from the State Library of Victoria and the Special Collections of the Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne.

Cathy Leahy, Senior Curator, Prints and Drawings, NGV, said, “The exhibition draws its title from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: conquest, famine, war and death. The motif of the Horsemen was a familiar one in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, a period in which natural phenomena and events were seen as manifestations of divine providence and people interpreted disasters and disease as warnings or punishments from God. The exhibition brings to life the dramatic visual imagery from a time of great chaos and upheaval.”

The Four Horsemen: Apocalypse, Death and Disaster will be on display at NGV International, St Kilda Road from 31 August 2012 – 28 January 2013Open Wed–Mon, 10am–5pm. Entry is FREE. A beautifully illustrated 100-page publication accompanies the exhibition.

The Four Horsemen is a collaborative partnership between the National Gallery of Victoria and the University of Melbourne. The exhibition has been co-curated by Cathy Leahy, Senior Curator, Prints & Drawings, NGV; Dr Petra Kayser, Curator, Prints and Drawing, NGV; Dr Jennifer Spinks, Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne; and Professor Charles Zika, Professorial Fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence, History of Emotions, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne

A symposium on disaster, death and the emotions will be held at Melbourne University on the 1-2 September. Full details here.