The Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum has important works of usually outstanding print quality in its rich collection of graphics. These include the complete works by Dürer, Callot, Rembrandt, Piranesi, Hogarth and Goya.
The highlights in the collection of drawings by the Old Masters are works by Lukas Cranach the Elder, Hans Holbein the Younger, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Tintoretto, Jacques Bellange, Peter Paul Rubens, Anton van Dyck, Rembrandt and his pupils, and Giambattista Tiepoplo, and not forgetting world-famous treasures such as the “Braunschweiger Skizzenbuch” – a medieval pattern book from around 1380, probably from Bohemia, as well as the “Schwarzschen Kleidungsbücher” from the 16th century. The latter are unique in that they are the earliest known fashion journals.
Outstanding examples within the section of 19th century prints are collections of works from the beginnings of lithography – for instance prints by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and the work of the great Realist Adolph Menzel. 19th century drawings are represented by architectural designs by Caspar David Friedrich, a large collection of individual sheets and sketchbooks by Carl Blechen and a selection of other works. Since 1996 this section of the print collection has grown considerably thanks to works on permanent loan from the collection “Andenken meiner Zeitgenossen” (memories of my contemporaries) by the great Hanoverian collector Bernhard Hausmann (1784-1874). These works contain German and Dutch drawings and watercolors from the Romantic period to early Realism by artists such as Joseph Anton Koch, Friedrich Overbeck, Leo von Klenze, Carl Rottmann, Adrian Ludwig Richter and Andreas Achenbach.
At the center of the collection of Classical Modernism and international contemporary art which was built up after World War II has since 1995 been the collection “Künstler sehen sich selbst – Graphische Selbstbildnisse des 20. Jahrhunderts” (artists representing themselves in prints and drawings – 20th century self-portraits) (co-owned by the Braunschweigischer Vereinigter Kloster-und Studienfonds). With almost 900 prints and drawings of self-portraits from Edvard Munch to Andy Warhol, this is the leading collection of its kind worldwide. Highlights are work groups of vigorous self-portraitists such as Lovis Corinth, Käthe Kollwitz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Marc Chagall, Horst Janssen and Jim Dine. This section is being continuously complemented and updated by self-portraits by Maria Lassnig, Georg Baselitz, Chuck Close, Maxim Kantor, Francesco Clemente and others.