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Hans Mielke and Christian Müller
The exhibition this catalog accompanied presented the opportunity for the National Gallery of Art to share with its visitors nearly 200 quintessential examples of early German and Swiss drawings. The combined force of the superb drawing collections of Berlin and Basel present works of the highest quality from a seminal period in the graphic arts of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The strong representation of Basel’s collection of 15th- and early-to-mid-16th-century drawings—Holbein, Baldung, and the Swiss artists Graf and Manuel Deutsch—is here seen with highlights from the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, whose greater variety of works includes not only Dürer, Grünewald, and Altdorfer, but also other leading artists from Schongauer to Wolf Huber. The works of many of these artists complement the other collection superbly; for others, the joint showing of the drawings makes a comparison between closely related works possible.