07 September 2019

Middle age as early

Quiet Monday is over and it's down to some serious museum stops. First is the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne's museum of visual arts from 13th century. The art is on three levels of a modern building. First floor is mediaeval Durer, Cranach, various triptyches and altarpieces. I love this era for its ardent faith and apparent openness. Of course this is mostly a thing of wealth but it's attractive nonetheless. My discovery here was Stefan Lochner, renowned Cologne artist, especially his glorious Madonna. Interestingly the gallery claims to hold up to half of the art produced in this period, if I read right. And it was a significant art site influenced by Italy and the Netherlands. Then to the second floor for the Baroque and Tintoretto and Rubens and van Dyck and Rembrandt (another self portrait and another). And up another floor for more modernism leading to Renoir and Cezanne and Van Gogh. The whole gallery is laid out to tell a story over the ages and the labelling is excellent.

Then another hit of mediaeval art at the museum Schnutgen. This is a collection of mediaeval religious art located in in a reused old Church. Lots of old carved stone and timber and polychromatics and reliquaries and stained glass with that mediaeval faith and fear of the fall all and just a touch of clerical elitism. Again just my thing.

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