“The Great Masters” in Graz!

The world’s greatest presentation of the most famous works of art of the Renaissance until December 29 at the Messe Graz

Despite the multimedia flood of images of our time, the century-old images of great painters continue to fascinate people and appeal to their emotions. This is proved by millions of visitors in galleries, churches, museums and at the original sites in Florence, Venice, Milan, Rome and Paris who come to see the greatest works of the most significant representatives of the Renaissance every year. The appeal of the major titans of art is still as powerful as it was back then.

The famous visual universe of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sandro Botticelli and Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino in a breath-taking presentation can now be experienced in just one place, the special world-acclaimed and unique exhibition called “The Great Masters of the Renaissance”. With true to original reproductions in an impressive dimension and arrangement, the user is guided through the Renaissance Period in an authentic and atmospheric way.

More than 100.000 visitors stormed the special arts event already in Vienna (Votivkirche) and Linz (Tabakfabrik) and set a new visitor record that was greatly appreciated by the creators. As part of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the four Italian giants of the Renaissance will be presented at the Messe Graz in an exhibition that has never been seen before.

From October 17 until December 29, 2019, the unique staging of the most famous and most valuable paintings and wall frescoes of history will also be marvelled at in Styria for the first time ever.

There is no other place in the world, where art lovers and those striving to be one, have the opportunity to see such a large number of the most important and most historic portraits of mankind such as Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper” or “The Creation of Adam” and “The Last Judgement” by Michelangelo and also Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” and Raffaello’s “The School of Athens” and the “Sistine Madonna” in their original size and from close up.

“The Great Masters of the Renaissance” presents a collection of around 60 high-quality reproductions and a 5.17 metre high replica of Michelangelo’s David sculpture in original size, which will give the visitors the opportunity to gain a comprehensive overview of the master pieces of the great painters and sculptors of this era in just one single exhibition visit.

Time period

17.10. – 29.12.2019


Messe Graz / Halle A
Messeplatz 1

Opening times

Tuesday to Sunday
10:00 – 18:00

Video on the exhibition

Art as a lasting emotional event

This is the motto of the show in superlative terms. “The Great Masters of the Renaissance” exhibition is taking the works of art out of traditional museum operations and turning them into an experience that can be shared by a wider audience. This way, visitors can also dive into the impressive arts world of the great ancient masters without any reservations and open themselves up to a visual voyage of discovery of the true icons of painting. The presentation makes art comprehensible and pleasurable for everyone.

The worldwide fame of the images displayed in the exhibition also contributed to the fact that these images have been copied and mimicked countless times – even in advertising. Thus, they reached popular culture or become common property such as Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”, which is flaunted on the euro coins and health insurance cards.
An entertaining and informative audio tour, which is included in the ticket price, explains the individual works of art and all the important historical backgrounds.

12 art centres combined under one roof

Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Raffaello – every year millions of people visit the major art centres in Florence, Venice, Milan, Rome, London and Paris in order to see the works of these major artists. “The Great Artists of the Renaissance” is bringing together the most significant works of art from a total of 12 of the world’s leading art centres to just one location for the very first time. In order to experience the works presented in this show, you would have to travel to a dozen cities all around the world. And a few of the paintings are even completely inaccessible for public.
Abu Dhabi
Washington, D.C.

The Big Four of the Renaissance

Leonardo Da Vinci

* 15th April 1452; † 2nd May 1519

To date, Leonardo da Vinci is considered the great universal scholar. Virtually no other artist is as representative of the inquisitive, exploratory spirit of the Renaissance. This is because he was not just a painter and sculptor, he was also an architect, anatomist, engineer and natural philosopher. Leonardo developed the first simple predecessor of a helicopter. His presentation of man that merely deviates by 1.7% of the famous “Golden Ratio” is also famous.

Michelangelo Buonarroti

* 6th March 1475; † 18the February 1564

Michelangelo was a sculptor, painter, architect and poet. First and foremost, his great passion was sculpture. Michelangelo is said to have suffered from his appearance during this life – but at the same time he was fascinated and inspired by the representation of beauty of the perfect human body. Michelangelo can be viewed as one of the most uncompromising and rebellious artists of his time. Michelangelo’s world famous frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, in which he invented his own scaffolding system and special colour mixtures, are considered to be some of the most famous works of art around the world.

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino

* 6th April or 28th March 1483; † 6th April 1520

Raffaello was an Italian painter and architect but became famous for this harmonious and balanced compositions and delightful pictures of the Madonna. Even during his lifetime, he had enjoyed the privilege of being known by just his first name. Until well into the 19th century, he was considered one of the greatest painters.

Sandro Botticelli

* 1st March 1445; † 17th May 1510

Botticelli was considered one of the most important Italian painters and artists of the early Renaissance. His allegorical illustrations, “The Spring” and particularly “The Birth of Venus” are famous. n Botticelli’s works, the Jugendstil was adopted in line management and mainly with regard to ornamentation.

The most famous smile of the world “The Mona Lisa” by Leonardo da Vinci is considered to be the most famous oil paintings in the world. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Louvre in Paris welcomes around 10 million visitors every year. No other smile has created so much speculation as that of the “Mona Lisa”. The young woman, Lisa del Giocondo, who was eternalised by Da Vinci at start of the 16th century, probably has the most famous smile of the world. Her facial experience was often described as mysterious or intangible. In Paris you have to queue for a long time to be able to see the original painting from a distance of several metres and it is protected by bullet-proof glass. However, at “The Great Masters of the Renaissance”, the painting with a size of 77 by 63 centimetres can be viewed up close. The exhibition is also presenting Da Vinci’s mythical “Last Supper”, once again in it’s original size – approximately nine metres by four metres high!

Da Vinci and Raffaello are masters of the auction world records Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Raffaello were the superstars of their time and thus, vain competitors in the fight for reputation and favour of their potential employers, princes and popes. However, they continue to regularly outbid each other at art auctions even today. The “Mona Lisa” by Da Vinci was considered the most expensive painting of the world for a very long time, and the Christ painting by “Salvator Mundi” recently sent the arts market into a state of ecstasy. Towards the end of 2017 at an auction at the Christie’s auction house in New York, a Saudi Prince bought it for a record sum of 450 million dollars (approximately 397 million euros). Since then it has been considered the most expensive painting of the world. The work of art has been exhibited at the Louvre Abu Dhabi but is inaccessible to the public. Whether the great master actually painted the image or not is still being debated among experts. Renaissance painter Raffaello is a record holder of drawings auctioned at highest prices. In 2009, his chalk drawing “The Head of a Muse” fetched 32 million euros, this was topped by his other drawing “Head of a Young Apostle” which was auctioned in 2012 for 36.6 million euros. This is the highest sum that was ever paid at an auction for a paper drawing.

Cult Around Two Bored Cherubs Undisputedly one of the most famous paintings of the Italian Renaissance is the “Sistine Madonna” by Raphael, which can be seen in an impressive staging at the Tabakfabrik. The original is located in the picture gallery “Alte Meister” in Dresden and

is also the only one that can be seen in the German speaking area. Many people are less familiar with the image as a whole. However, the two bored cherubs on the lower edge of the image can seen millions of times as a motive of its own on posters, postcards, cans, cup or decorative items in everyday culture.

Famous Frescoes in Detail Every year four million people come to look at “The Creation of Adam” with their own eyes at the Sistine Chapel in Rome. There is hardly anyone that does not know the most famous motive of the ceiling fresco. The Maker is just about to give Adam life and spirit with a touch. There are thousands of small details to be discovered in the fresco and this captivates visitors for hours. In the special exhibition in Linz, the visitors have the advantage of being able to look at the details close up and can engage with the picture elements in a relaxed manner right in front of the work of art.

The First Life-Size Nude Woman The first almost life-size nude woman by Botticelli “The Birth of Venus” is considered a milestone in art history. Exhibition visitors will be also be impressed by its original size (278 x 175 cm). The monumental painting was created in the late 15th century and has been exhibited in the famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence since the early 1900s. The piece has be admired and analysed for centuries. Today, Venus and the “Mona Lisa” and the Sistine Chapel are considered the main works of the Renaissance. The impact of the painting is still felt today both in artistic fashion photography as well as in the expert hairdressing trade and his lasting role is very present in contemporary art and culture. Together with Botticelli’s “Primavera”, which obviously had to be part of “The Great Masters of the Renaissance” exhibition, it represents an undisputed major attraction in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

David Statue in its Original Size The highlight of the exhibition, without doubt, is definitely the 5.17 metre high replica of Michelangelo’s David in the dome replica of the Galleria dell‘ Accademia. David is the first monumental statue of the High Renaissance and is considered the most popular sculpture in the history of art. The original carved out of marble stone has been located in Florence since 1873 and weighs approximately six tonnes.

Experience and Competence in Cultural Events

“The Great Masters of the Renaissance” is organised by COFO Entertainment GmbH & Co. KG from Passau and they already exhibited major attractions such as “Tutankhamun – His Tomb and its Treasures”, “Gunther von Hagens´ Body Worlds” or “Titanic – echte Funde, wahre Schicksale [Real discoveries, real fates]“.

Prof. Manfred Waba is responsible for the artistic direction. It was his spectacular stage setting of the “largest violin of the world” – at the Seefestspielen Mörbisch last year that attracted international attention. The man from Burgenland is one of the most well-known and most experienced stage and costume designers in Austria and also works as a successful director, light and effects designer, production director and event planner. The newly designed exhibition by Manfred Waba “The Great Masters” has a spectacular premiere in Vienna and was a huge success with the public. This exhibition is now being presented in Linz and it is even bigger, more artistic and definitely more impressive. Immerse into the monumental visual universe of the Renaissance “up close” and without time constraints; probably the most famous images in the history of mankind experienced in an unforgettable and unique manner is his credo for this exhibition.

Scientific companion of this exhibition is the Da Vinci expert Prof. Dr Stefaan Missinne. Scientists, collectors and experts from different specialisations have dealt with the creations of Leonardo da Vinci in many different ways. One of these globally recognised Leonardo experts is Prof. Dr Stefaan Missinne, whose primary connecting factor to the Florentine universal genius is his special interest in globes, maps, iconography and anatomical miniature models.

There is no exhibition like this one around the world. ... Manfred Waba created an emotional arts event by bringing together these wonderful works of art.


“The Great Masters of the Renaissance” truly is a major attraction”... This does not come as a surprise because this is where you can get up close and personal with the masterpieces of the Renaissance.

Kronen Zeitung [Austria’s largest newspaper]

This exhibition makes it possible to experience art on a completely new level ... Brilliant artwork from Rome, Florence and Milan can be viewed in one location in a powerful production that is true to the original.


Impressions of the exhibition

Exhibition partners