Museum Wasserburg Anholt
Schloss Wasserburg in Anholt, just over the border from the Dutch town of Doetinchem, houses a fascinating art collection with a substantial number of Dutch and Flemish paintings. One of the highlights is Rembrandt´s Diana with Actaeon and Callisto of 1634; other important Dutch artists represented in the collection are Gerard ter Borch and Gerard van Honthorst and Flemish luminaries include David Teniers the Younger, Jan Breughel the Younger, Frans Snijder and Jan Boeckhorst. The castle’s history extends back to the 12th century and its collection has grown over time. Paintings are mentioned already in the castle’s first inventory from 1576. And, in 1645 an anonymous artist painted a part of the Bronckhorst-Batenburg collection, owned by the then residents of the castle, from which we know that works by Honthorst and Joos van Cleve were already present. As of about 1700 the castle has been permanently inhabited by the Princes of Zu Salm. Ludwig Otto (1674-1738) transformed it into a Baroque residency and successive generations expanded the collection. For example, Ludwig Carl Otto zu Salm-Salm (1721-1778) bought the above-mentioned painting by Rembrandt from the art dealer Pierre Rémy in Paris in 1774.
The castle was not spared in the Second World War, in part due to its location near the Rhine River. From 24 to 26 March 1945, bombing destroyed 70% of the castle. Fortunately, the greater part of the art collection remained unharmed as it was stored in a mine in the Sauerland region.
After the war, Prince Nickolaus Leopold zu Salm-Salm (1906-1988) rebuilt Wasserburg with the aid of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In return, Anholt Castle and its collection were opened to the public.
Prince Carl Philipp zu Salm-Salm (1933) has perpetuated the tradition of his forefathers and has managed both the castle and its art since 1988. The collection is still expanding through new acquisitions. In the 1990s the prince purchased two works by the 18th-century Flemish painter Andreas Lens, a painting by Willem de Poorter and a rather spectacular Venus and Amor by Lucas Cranach.
Duco van Krugten, The Anholt Painting Collection
Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund
One of Dortmund’s largest cultural magnets is the Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte. Founded in 1883, it was the first municipal museum in the Ruhr Valley. The archaeological, folkloristic and local history collections as well as those of arts and craft, design, graphic and applied art were merged in the monument-like Art Deco edifice. The result was “a remarkable combination of a museum of art and one of social history.” The installation is like a cabinet of art and curiosities, enabling visitors to explore intriguing facets of life and learn more about urban culture and history.
Participants will not want to miss interesting paintings in the museum by Jan and Derick Baegert, Herri met de Bles, and Jordaens, as well as a civic-guard piece from Goes attributed to Peter Meert.
St. Reinoldikirche, Dortmund
Between 1421 and 1456 the patricians of Dortmund started a costly alteration and refurbishment of the city’s main parrish church dedicated to the city Patron Saint Reinoldus. One of the renewals was the placement of a new altarpiece, which is still on view in the church today. The piece was placed in 1447, but stylistically the piece should have been made around 1410-20 in Brussels or Bruges. It is therefore likely that the altarpiece was originally made for another church or monastery. Like so many German churches the Second World War destroyed much of the church building and its decoration. The altarpiece was spared and will be the obvious focus of our visit. Measuring 7.30 x 3.61 meter in its opened state, it is quite imposing. Iconographically, the middle, sculpted part shows the crucifixion flanked by statuettes of the twelve apostles. On the painted wings are scenes from the life of the Virgin.
Evelyn Bertram-Neunzing, Das Altarretabel in der Dortmunder St. Reinoldikirche, Bielefeld 2007
Thomas Schilp, Barbara Welzel (ed.), Dortmund im Mittelalter. Bielefeld 2006
Propsteikirche St. Johann der Täufer, Dortmund
The original Propsteikirche was founded in the 14th century as part of the Dominican monastery in Dortmund. The entire complex was destroyed in the Second World War. While the church has been rebuilt, it has obviously lost much of its historical charm. However, the church’s artistic highlight has been preserved, namely a majestic altarpiece by Derick and Jan Baegert from around 1470-80.
Thomas Schilp, Barbara Welzel (ed.), Dortmund im Mittelalter, Bielefeld 2006
St. Petri-Kirche, Dortmund
The St. Petrikirche in Dortmund is one of four medieval churches in the city center. It was built in 1322 as a Gothic hall church and is located in the western part of the downtown area. Having suffered a turbulent history with much destruction, the St. Petri-Kirche has been reconstructed in its original architectural style. Earthquakes, storms and lightning caused repeated damage to the tower and central nave. After being totally destroyed in 1759, St. Petri was finally rebuilt again, with classical Baroque elements and lofts. It then received a Flemish carved altar originally made for the Dortmund Franciscan monastery in 1521. The air raid on Dortmund on 23 May 1943 razed St. Petri down to the foundation walls. Fortunately, the altar had been evacuated and was thus spared. The church was rebuilt in its original form from 1954 to 1966. With its clarity and brightness the church now exudes its own spatial atmosphere, which distinguishes it from the other local churches. It is home to a magnificent work of art, namely the largest (7.4 meter wide when open, and 5.6 meter high) Flemish altar of the Middle Ages, one of the largest Gothic pictorial works for a church in general and one of the most picturesque plastic works of art in all of Europe. The number of representations is so great that a double, rather than a single, pair of wings was necessary. The altar can thus be seen in three different states, so-called “transformations.” However, people in the Middle Ages rarely saw all of the pictures because the altar was closed most of the time, and only opened during special liturgical celebrations. The interior of the altar is populated with hundreds of gilded figures, which is why it is referred to as “the golden miracle”.
The CODART group will be able to see the altarpiece in all its transformations, with a special viewing after opening hours.
Barbara Welzel (ed.), Altes Gold in neuer Pracht: das “Goldene Wunder” in der Dortmunder St. Petri-Kirche. Bielefeld 2006
Thomas Schilp, Barbara Welzel (ed.), Dortmund im Mittelalter. Bielefeld 2006
SØR Rusche collection
This private collection in Oelde was founded by Anton Rusche I (1839-1918) and expanded by several generations in the course of time. One of the more important collectors was Egon Rusche (1934-1996), a passionate connoisseur who concentrated on 17th-century Dutch painting. He was not interested so much in great artists like Rembrandt, Hals and Van Goyen, but in “Von den Kleinsten, das Beste,” the best work by minor painters. His son Thomas Rusche (1962) aims to fill lacunae in the collection. He also initiated cataloguing the collection in collaboration with Hans-Joachim Raupp and the RKD. As visitors to the exhibition in 2008 in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam saw, the collection indeed represents an imposing cross section of 17th-century Dutch painting. Thomas Rusche has kindly invited the CODART group to view the collection and to a dinner in the private areas among the hung Old Masters.
Marten Jan Bok, Martine Gosselink, Marina Aarts et al., At home in the Golden Age, Rotterdam/Zwolle 2008
LWL-Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster
Alongside various German and Dutch paintings (for example, by Lucas Cranach and Jan Gossaert, respectively), the Renaissance period is represented primarily by the work of Westphalian artists. Particular emphasis is placed on paintings by the Tom Ring family of artists from Münster: Ludger tom Ring the Elder and his sons Hermann and Ludger the Younger. The Landschaftsverbandes Westfalen-Lippe (LWL) Landesmuseum boasts the largest collection of works by these painters, ranging from religious themes to portraits and still lifes. This is complemented with sculptures by Heinrich and Johann Brabender of Münster, including monumental exterior figures for the Münster Cathedral. Prints from the period include sheets by Heinrich Aldegrever.
The Baroque is represented by paintings in all categories (landscapes, seascapes, religious themes, allegories and genre scenes), with a particular emphasis on portraits (for example, by Wolfgang Heimbach, Jan van Scorel, and Cornelis van Poelenburg) and still lifes (for example, by Georg Flegel, Frans Snyders, and Pieter Claesz.). With the exception of a painting by the Italian artist Guido Reni, Dutch and German painters dominate the collection. The museum’s applied art consists of orfèvrerie from Augsburg and Münster, early glasswork, as well as chests and cabinetry. An internationally important exhibit is the so-called “Wrangelschrank,” an intarsia cabinet finished in Augsburg in 1566. Baroque sculpture is chiefly represented by works by the Gröninger family from Westphalia.
The museum is under renovation and only a small part of the collection will be on view at the time of the study trip. However, the wonderful Mother of God and child by Jan Gossaert will be specially displayed for the CODART group.
Angelika Lorenz, Renaissance und Barock im Westfälischen Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Münster, Münster 2000
Friedenssaal (Hall of peace), Münster
This room in the old Münster town hall is of great significance in Dutch and even European history, as it was the site where the peace treaty between Spain and the Republic was concluded. For Dutch art specialists, it feels like walking into the famous painting of this momentous event by Gerard ter Borch. Displayed on the walls are portraits of the representatives who were present at the signing of the peace. Numbers were discovered during a recent cleaning, which corresponded with the original sequence of portraits. The portraits have been rehung in that order.
The Stadtmuseum in Münster shows the city’s tumultuous history from its beginnings to the present. In the Middle Ages, the city-state – ruled by a bishop – was a flourishing Hanseatic town, giving rise to its international orientation. In 1534-35 Anabaptists took power and founded a democratic proto-socialistic state: they claimed all property, burned all books except the Bible and called the city the “New Jerusalem.” In 1535 the bishop regained power, which led to a bloody retaliation among the Anabaptists.
During the negotiations of the Peace of Westphalia the power of the bishop and the diocese were affirmed – the area was to be exclusively Roman Catholic.
In 1672 the then bishop of Münster, Christoph Bernhard Freiherr von Galen, was one of the four heads of state (along with France, England and the archbishop of Cologne) who attacked the Dutch Republic. The bishop conquered Groenlo, Bredevoort and Coevorden. His siege of Groningen was unsuccessful. His liberal use of firepower to persuade the cities under siege to surrender earned him the nickname “Bommen Berend” (Bombs Berend). Two cannons appropriately flank his equestrian portrait in the museum.
The portraits by Gerard ter Borch commemorating the Peace of Münster are among the highlights in the museum. The artist was present at the signing of the treaty and portrayed several of the delegates.
Hans Galen, Dreiunddreissig Geschichtsbilder: Einblicke in die Geschichte der Stad Münster bei einem Rundgang durch das Stadtmuseum, Münster 1993
Weserrenaissance-Museum, Schloss Brake, Lemgo
Schloss Brake was rebuilt as the residence of the Counts zur Lippe in a Renaissance style from 1587 on. It is surrounded by a moat and was erected on the foundation walls of one of the largest medieval castles in northern Germany. Its striking tower, visible from a distance, makes it the landmark of the old Hanseatic town of Lemgo. The buildings in the castle’s vicinity – the attached agricultural-estate buildings, three historic mills and a washhouse – still convey an impressive picture of what an early modern residence was like.
The museum has a modest yet interesting collection. Among the highlights are works by Hans Vredeman de Vries, Paulus Moreelse, Pieter Holsteijn the Elder and Joachim Beuckelaer.
Dating from the early 13th century, the Nicolaikirche is the oldest of the Bielefeld city churches. It was rebuilt after the Second World War and is home to a carved and painted Antwerp altarpiece of 1524. The carved centerpiece and 24 panels of the wings are an excellent example of early 16th-century Antwerp altarpiece manufacture. The recently restored altarpiece has a broad iconographic program, including the Life of the Virgin, the Life of Christ and the Passion.
http://www.antwerpener-schnitzaltar.de/ (in German)
Schloss Bückeburg is the residence of the Princes of Schaumburg-Lippe. It dates back to 1606, when Count Ernst of Holstein-Schaumburg (1569-1622) transformed a simple castle with a moat into the present Renaissance building. For the participants there is an abundance of interesting artworks to be found here. Two excellent paintings by De Wit and a painting attributed to Ferdinand Bol are the highlights in the part of the castle open to the public. The CODART group will also be admitted to the picture gallery, which is normally closed, and which contains interesting works by generally lesser-known Dutch and Flemish masters. On the bridge to the castle are copies of statues by Adriaen de Vries. The originals were commissioned by Count Ernst of Holstein-Schaumburg, who was an important patron of the artist.
The influence of the same Count Ernst of Holstein-Schaumburg is also clearly visible in the Bückeburger Stadtkirche, which he built between 1610 and 1615. The absolute highlight of the church and the goal of the CODART visit is the splendid, beautifully detailed baptismal font by Adriaen de Vries, which is still used, and which is a perfect example of the work of the Dutch sculptor still in situ.
Mausoleum of Ernst of Holstein-Schaumburg, Stadthagen
Count Ernst of Holstein-Schaumburg was buried in Stadthagen, 14 kilometers northeast of Bückeburg. As might be expected of an individual so keen on building and artistic patronage, his grave is anything but ordinary. The count’s mausoleum, designed by the Swiss architect Giovanni Maria Nosseni and adorned with sculptures by Adriaen de Vries, is adjacent to the St. Martini-Kirche. The spectacular result is certainly the pinnacle of the De Vries sub-theme running through the study trip.