Holy Cologne

Painting in Cologne in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

5 November 2008 to 28 June 2009

In the Late Middle Ages, Cologne was one of the most important and, in terms of population, one of the largest cities in Europe. On account of its numerous churches and cloisters it was also referred to as “heiliges Köln” – “holy Cologne”. At the same time, it was an outstanding centre of art. Especially painting blossomed in this context, a circumstance to which a great number of extant works still bear impressive testimony today. The presentation at the Städel Museum united two collections of early Cologne painting which could hardly complement one another more perfectly – that of Frankfurt and that of Darmstadt. The latter was splendidly represented by the most prominent Cologne master of all – Stefan Lochner – as well as the Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece and Barthel Bruyn the Elder. The Rhenish city’s rich artistic productivity was also reflected, however, in important works by other painters of the period from 1400 to the early sixteenth century.

CURATORS: Prof. Dr. Jochen Sander, Städel Museum; Dr. Theo Jülich, Hessisches Museum Darmstadt