The Old Testament

Subjects and Stories from the Old Testament are highlighted in a major exhibition in Munich at the “Alte Pinakothek”.

The Old Testament is the foundation of both Judaism and Christianity, while its stories are familiar to Islam. As such it unites Europeans living in a world of multi-faith. These stories have always been a rich source for European Artists since early Christianity. Later a distinct and remarkable pictorial tradition developed in the West.

This summer some of the greatest examples of Old Testament scenes dating from the late Middle Ages and the Baroque period have been gathered for an exhibition in Munich at the Alte Pinakothek.  Artists represented by their works range from Albrecht Altdorfer, Hans Burgkmair, Lucas Cranach, and Peter Paul Rubens to Rembrandt, Claude Lorrain, Luca Giordano and numerous other artists.

Their works depict the creation and fall of man, an angry and merciful God, the captivity and deliverance of Israel from the Egypt of the Pharaohs, disasters of unimaginable proportions and the destruction of entire civilizations. They portray heroes and heroines who bravely confront their enemies, and they celebrate the wisdom and foresight of the prophets. The stories of Noah and Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael as the progenitors of Jews and Arabs, and of Moses, David, Solomon, Judith, Esther and Susanna come to life in the exhibition.

Cranach - Adam and Eve - Alte Pinakothek, Munich

The 37 exhibited works come from galleries in Aschaffenburg, Augsburg, Bamberg, Ottobeuren, and Schleißheim, as well as from the Alte Pinakothek. Loans from the museums and collections of the city of Augsburg, museums of the city of Bamberg and from the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum) in Munich are also included in the exhibition. Valuable prints from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library), the university library of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg (State Library Bamberg) supplement the selection of paintings.

The entire Alte Pinakothek is included in the exhibition. An investigative tour leads visitors past 43 more of the gallery’s paintings that depict Old Testament themes or motifs.

The exhibition is arranged in three parts:

  • Paintings from the late Middle Ages to the beginnings of the New Modern period (Room III, special exhibition space at the Klenze Portal)
  • Paintings of the Baroque period (Room I, special exhibition space at the Klenze Portal)
  •  “Investigation” – A tour through the gallery on the first and ground floors, West Wing


The Old Testament – Subjects and Stories 
Alte Pinakothek – Exhibition space at the Klenze Portal, Barer Straße 27
80333 München
18.07.2013 – 20.10.2013

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