Renaissance, baroque, enlightment

Art and culture from the 16th to the 18th century

The art of the Early Modern Period from 1500 to 1800 is presented in 33 rooms and exhibition sequences. Exhibits range from the age of the discovery of the new world through to Rococo and Enlightenment in the late 18th century. The exhibition contains key pieces from all the museum's collections. These include paintings and sculptures, stained-glass windows, the decorative arts, furniture, musical instruments, medals, textiles, and jewelry. Thematic areas of focus, such as pilgrimage, the Reformation, nature and Antiquity, make it possible to experience the objects in the context of their cultural history. The exhibition treats the collection and representation of art as comprehensive themes. At the same time, it shows the works of exceptional artists such as Dürer, Cranach, Rembrandt, Vischer and Messerschmidt in a new light.

The idea behind the exhibition is to bring together groups of objects that were previously exhibited separately, and to unite the art forms as far as possible. With this approach, the exhibition encourages an integral understanding of the material culture of previous centuries. It aims to make conventional periodisation and the boundaries between epochs less categorical, focusing on continuity and change and the concurrency of phenomena that are supposedly contradictory or that only appear to follow on from each other over time. Openness and transparency are also at the forefront of the aesthetic and didactic concept. The exhibition seeks to inform and engage the visitor by imparting scientific knowledge and sensory experiences.

Examples of objects

Martin Behaim, Georg Glockendon d.Ä. u.a., Nürnberg, um 1491-1494

Schiff als Tafelaufsatz (Schlüsselfelder Schiff)
Nürnberg vor 1503

Kaiser Karl der Grosse
Albrecht Dürer, Nürnberg, um 1511/13

Der Satirikus
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, Wien u.a., um 1770/80

Cabinet with lace and opaque-twisted glasses

Exhibition rooms

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