"Righteousness and peace have kissed each other" - representation of peace in pre-modern europe

Project duration: 2015-2018
Project sponsorship: Leibniz Association as part of the "National and International Network" sponsorship line

The transdisciplinary project focuses the different ways peace is represented in the Early Modern Age. To this end, the sub-project at the GNM is examining the extensive assortment of graphic works, coins and medals in its own holdings.

The research project, which is sponsored by the Leibniz Association, focuses on the various strategies for communicating and visualising events of peace in the Early Modern Age. In the period from the 16th to the 18th century, more than 2,000 peace treaties within and between states were concluded in Europe. Wars were accompanied by peace processes manifested in the quantity of pre-modern peace agreements. They were communicated in the media through literature, art and music. The use of a shared canon of motifs resulted in a "vocabulary" of peace on which artists, writers and composers drew. This vocabulary is to be investigated using different cultural objects as examples.

The Leibniz Institute for European History in Mainz is addressing sermons of peace the roots of which lie in the context of the Religious Peace of Augsburg. The project team at the Herzog-August Library in Wolfenbüttel is also investigating representations in language by looking at German and Latin peace poetry. Musical representations of peace scenarios are the focus of the German Historical Institute in Rome. The results of the work of all the institutions will be made available via the virtual research environment "WissKI". The interdisciplinary work on the source material will therefore be made accessible to researchers with the help of semantic web methods and will be available to the public once the project has been completed. 

Representations of peace in the GNM's holdings

The GNM has an abundant array of historical images of peace in its Department of Prints and Drawings and Numismatic Collection. The Religious Peace of Augsburg (1555), the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), the Nuremberg Execution Congress (1649/50), the Treaties of Utrecht – Rastatt – Baden (1713/14) and the Treaty of Hubertusburg (1763) are the events most widely represented. They were recorded in depictions of the events, on broadsheets and memorial sheets and in allegories on coins and medals. In addition to the already published medals of peace by the famous medallist Sebastian Dadler, the GNM holds many commemorative and derisory coins and medals relating to peace agreements of the Early Modern Age. The aim is to examine the pictorial topoi deployed and to cross-reference their textual elements with other media of peace.


Dr. Yasmin Doosry (Head of the Department of Prints and Drawings)
Dr. Matthias Nuding (Head of the Numismatic Collection)
Peggy Große M.A. (PhD candidate)
Marius Wittke M.A. (PhD candidate, since October 2017)
Anna Lisa Schwartz M.A. (PhD candidate, till October 2017)

Further objects of research

Auf den Breslauer Frieden 1742

Verkündigung des Westfälischen Friedens durch einen Postreiter 1648

Gedenkmedaille auf den Friedensschluss zwischen Spanien und den Vereinigten Niederlanden 1648

Information and Services

Plan Your Visit
Opening Times
Location and Approach
GNM Museum Shop