Middle ages

Themes of the exhibition

In the "Images of the Middle Ages" exhibition, objects from different areas of life depict medieval society. The highlight is the magnificent shrine for the imperial relics. Today's view of the epoch is contrasted with historical stained glass from the 19th century. A collection of sculptures, textiles, objects of treasury art, stained glass and panel painting provides the visitor with a thrilling insight into the period from the 8th to the 15th century. Superb objects elucidate developments in art as well as changes in form and function. They reveal how medieval churches were adorned, show their pictorial programs and point to liturgical uses. With the Carolingian Ardenne Cross, the treasure binding of the "Codex Aureus" of Echternach and the "Armilla" from the circle of Frederick Barbarossa, the museum's holdings of mediaeval decorative arts treasures are world-renowned. The collection of tapestries culminates in the "Spieleteppich" (courtly games tapestry) produced in around 1400 on the Middle Rhine. The collection of aquamaniles, which represent important centers of metal casting

In the chronologically arranged collection, the visitor will frequently encounter the key motifs of medieval pictorial art. These include the crucifix and the Madonna, with artifacts ranging from a small bronze cross to the monumental sculpture from the Stiftskirche St. Maria im Kapitol, Cologne. Milestones in art history, such as the tomb of Count Henry III of Sayn, created in ca. 1247/48 , are exhibited alongside products from serial manufacture, which in addition to columns, pillars and capitals, call to mind the overall architectural context of the works. Objects include floor and wall tiles ornamented and decorated with figures, for example, as well as Romanesque roof tiles from the monastery church of Paulinzella, Jena.


Examples of objects

Ardennenkreuz
2. V. 9. Jh.

Elefantenleuchter
Magdeburg, M. 12. Jh.

Maria im Wochenbett
Köln, um 1340

Heiltumsschrein
Nürnberg, 1438-1440


Exhibition rooms

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