Travel is the seductive motif that traverses The Insatiable Eye. Together with the landscape painter Adolf Höninghaus (1810–1882), visitors can discover streams in the Neandertal near Düsseldorf, explore the Forum Romanum in Rome and be ferried to Sicily. At the same time, one can also closely observe cloud formations, individual plants trees and landscapes while also tracing the artist’s painting process from the preliminary sketch to the final painting. Featuring circa 110 oil sketches, 160 drawings and a group of paintings, the exhibition represents the first major showing of works from Adolf Höninghaus’s estate, which has been in the museum since 1897. It offers the opportunity to discover a classic exponent of the Düsseldorf School of Painting, updating a fascinating chapter in the history of landscape painting in the 19th century.
Adolf Höninghaus studied under Johann Wilhelm Schirmer and Carl Friedrich Lessing at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1829 to 1834–1835 and embarked on the Grand Tour to Italy in 1844. He made his home in the Eternal City of Rome for a while, from where he set off on excursions to explore the Campagna, Tivoli and Frascati until he felt the lure of Sicily. Höninghaus returned by way of France to Germany in 1848, finally settling in Dresden in 1857.
The show is supplemented with paintings by such artists as Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Carl Friedrich Lessing and Carl Ferdinand Sohn that shed light on the contemporary context for Höninghaus’s work. The exhibition, which features a number of striking loans, also marks the first time that Düsseldorf School of Painting is being addressed as a part of the collection of the Kunstmuseen Krefeld.
With his video installation Voyage to Italy from 2006, the conceptual artist Victor Burgin enters into a dialogue with Adolf Höninghaus. Two artists in different centuries share the same travel destination: Italy. Both artists consequently occupy themselves with existing imagery and notions, creating in the process their own “picture of Italy” by means of a reproducing gaze.
A publication will appear to accompany The Insatiable Eye. The Travels of the Landscape Painter Adolf Höninghaus.
Dr. Sylvia Martin, Prof. Dr Martina Sitt