The German Painting section comprises around 500 works ranging from the oldest paintings in Swabia to Baroque and Rococo masterpieces. The collection focuses on late medieval and early modern Swabian art. In particular, the altarpieces from the great artistic centres of Memmingen, Nördlingen, Ulm and Augsburg bear witness to the innovative power in the field of painting.
Sacred Art around 1500
Bartholomäus Zeitblom's Heerberg Altarpiece with its portrait and signature is an expression of a world in upheaval and demonstrates how painters slowly abandoned the status of craftsmen and acquired a new self-image. The panels of the "Grey Passion" by the Augsburg painter Hans Holbein the Elder impress with their monochrome colourfulness and are evidence of a turning point in time, which continues in the colourful compositions of the Master of Meßkirch and Jerg Rageb. Both the Wildenstein Altarpiece and the Herrenberg Altarpiece already cite architectural elements of the Renaissance and reveal knowledge of this new style through the deep spatial staggering of the depictions.
Along with Albrecht Dürer, Martin Schaffner and Hans Baldung Grien are among the first German Renaissance painters. Paintings such as the "Entombment of Christ" or the "Man of Sorrows" still move us today with their emotional imagery. The great centres of German Renaissance painting Augsburg and Wittenberg are represented with important works by Christoph Amberger and Lucas Cranach the Elder. Their portraits are evidence of a new consciousness of the individual.
Baroque Pictorial Delight
The collection also includes a small selection of copper plates by the court artists Hans von Aachen, Hans Rottenhammer and Joseph Heintz, whose art heralded the age of the Baroque and whose cabinet pieces were popular collectors' items at the courts of Europe. Top works of Baroque painting - including still lifes by Georg Flegel, as well as paintings by Johann Heinrich Schönfeld and Anna Dorothea Therbusch - complete the collection of German painting.