The Wallraf-Richartz Museum & Fondation Corboud, named after its main benefactors -Ferdinand Franz Wallraf (1748-1824), Johann Heinrich Richartz (1796-1861) and Gérard Corboud (1925-2017) – is the oldest museum in Cologne. Since 2001, it has been situated in the heart of Cologne in a building designed by Oswald Mathias Ungers.
It houses one of the world’s largest collections of medieval paintings, in particular from the Cologne School. The museum also contains a representative selection of art from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century, especially Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, and a significant collection of prints and drawings. Since its founding in the early nineteenth century the museum has been shaped by the collecting activities and tastes of local bourgeois donors and, in combination with the city’s historic trading links with the Netherlands, this has resulted in a special focus on Dutch and Flemish paintings of the seventeenth century. Thanks to major works by eminent artists like Peter Paul Rubens (Self-Portrait in a Circle of Friends at Mantua, 1602/04), Gerrit van Honthorst (Adoration of the Shepherds, 1622), Jacob Jordaens (Prometheus Bound, c. 1640) and Rembrandt van Rijn (Self-Portrait as Zeuxis, 1662/63) the collection of the Northern School is of international significance. In its diversity it provides an overview of the most important artistic centres and genres, and also illustrates the fruitful exchanges between the European painting schools. The holdings are further enriched by precious long-term loans from private collections, such as works by Jan Brueghel I, Salomon van Ruysdael and Adriaen Coorte, on loan from the Heinrich und Anny Nolte-Stiftung Essen since 2014. The permanent collection is displayed in thematic rooms devoted to various aspects of Baroque painting and complemented by annual cabinet exhibitions presenting lesser-known artworks, restoration projects or selective loans.
Since 1924, the museum has published the Wallraf Richartz-Jahrbuch, a discussion forum of international standing for leading researchers and scholars in the field of Western Art History. The Yearbook is accessible on JSTOR.
Anja K. Sevcik, Head of Department of Baroque Painting (October 2020)
Flämische Malerei von 1550 bis 1650
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum Köln. Vollständiges Verzeichnis der Gemäldesammlung
Heße, Christian; Schlagenhaufer, Martina (ed.)
Niederländische Zeichnungen vom 15. bis 19. Jahrhundert im Wallraf-Richartz-Museum Köln
Katalog der niederländischen Gemälde von 1550 bis 1800 im Wallraf-Richartz-Museum und im Öffentlichen Besitz der Stadt Köln mit Ausnahme des Kölnischen Stadtmuseums
Vey, Horst; Kesting, Annamaria