Reformer, populist, revolutionary, rebel, shrewd marketing man, anti-Semite, fundamentalist, misogynist, cursed or holy? Who was Luther and what made him an influential icon? Museum Catharijneconvent goes in search of the man behind 500 years of Reformation in the exhibition Luther. A unique opportunity to take a renewed look at this “man of the year” and the memorable event in our history through magnificent works of art. Because on 31 October 2017, it will be exactly 500 years since Luther ‘nailed’ his 95 theses to the church door in
Wittenberg, thereby “nailing” a major revolution in European history.
In words, images, music and mockery, visitors will discover where the power of the influential Reformation rebel lies. Many objects, such as pamphlets, paintings, silver, cartoons, as well as recognizable, challenging dilemmas, music and theater shed new light on the energizing story of Luther and the Reformation. Works of art by Lucas Cranach and Albrecht Dürer, among others, from our own collection and from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the National Gallery in Prague and the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, among others, show the innovative way in which Luther proclaimed his message to the people.
Questions raised by this exhibition about Luther are more diverse and more topical than ever. How did Luther manage to grow from an unknown monk into an icon of the Reformation? What innovative means of propaganda did he employ 500 years ago in his campaign? How did he reach and convince so many people of his ideas? In what way did Luther unleash the greatest revolution in European church history? And what are the similarities to today?