- Art Education
The main focus of the collection is on the Late Middle Ages, represented by about 500 items. The core inventory of the medieval sculpture collection was acquired in 1907 with the estate of the Cologne collector, carver and conservator Richard Moest (1841-1906). The medieval sculptures are located on the ground floor. Some sculptures are integrated into the painting section on the first floor.
The numerous individual figures, groups of figures and reliefs mostly stem from altarpieces. Special treasures are the three large carved altarpieces.
Various art regions are represented, from Spain and France through the northern and southern Netherlands to the Alpine regions. The most important French, Cologne and Middle and Lower Rhine sculptures are on show in the first large room on the ground floor – prominent among them the works of several famous masters in Cologne, the Lower Rhine and Lower Saxony, for example Tilman Heysacker, Wilhelm von Arborch, Henrick Douwerman, Arnt van Tricht and unknown artists like the Master Sculptor of Osnabrück.
The two adjoining large rooms house sculptures from East, Middle and South Germany as well as from the Alpine regions, including a Swabian carved altar from Almens/Graubünden with its original colouring. With exhibits from Franconia (Nuremberg), Swabia (Ulm), Bavarian Swabia (Augsburg, Allgäu) and Bavaria (Munich and Landshut), South German sculptures account for the largest part of the inventory. Ulm stands out in particular with its prominent carvers Meister Hartmann, Hans Multscher, Michel Erhart, Jörg Stein, Niklaus Weckmann and Daniel Mauch.
To illustrate the original functional context of the individual exhibits, the Vaulted Room is decorated like a church interior. Here, visitors can view a rare, small altar shrine from Mechelen and numerous fragments and relief groups from altarpieces originating from Brabant and especially from Antwerp. The latter have been placed in a stylised shrine casket to allude to their original positioning on an altarpiece. The absolute highlight is the large Altar of St Peter, probably the only late medieval carved altar to have survived the Calvinist iconoclasm of the 16th century in what is now the Netherlands.
Outstanding specimens of Netherlandish sculpture, including works of the Master of the Utrecht Female Head of Stone and of Jan Borman of Brussels are integrated into the presentation of 15th and 16th century paintings on the first floor.