© Kunstsammlungen und Museen Augsburg
Anton Graff, Johanna Jakobina Magdalena Freifrau von Pfister © Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg
Johann Amandus Winck, Still Life of Fruit with Goldfinch and Admiral Butterfly © Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg
Barthel Beham, Young lady by the toilet © Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg
Johann Rottenhammer, Mars and Venus © Kunstsammlungen und Museen Augsburg
Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner, Paris with the Seine © Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg
Franz Joseph Degle, Maria Joseph Victoria Magdalena von Obwexer © Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg
Johann Evangelist Holzer, The Saints of the Benedictine Order © Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg
Pierre Gaudreau, Lovers © Kunstsammlungen & Museen Augsburg

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The Disrobing of Christ
After a perennial stay in Italy and before relocating to Prague as a court painter of Rudolf II, Hans von Aachen used to live in Southern Germany for ten years. During the early 1590s, he predominantly worked in Augsburg. The painting is related to the interior decoration of the oratory for William V, Duke of Bavaria, in the Jesuit church of St. Michael in Munich (destroyed 1944).
Still Life with a Skull
Johann Adalbert Angermeyer’s œuvre consists exclusively of small-scale still lifes. Most of these show natural motifs, while a few – like the one on display – are composed of objects that symbolize the concept of vanitas: The extinguished lamp, the utensils for blowing soap bubbles and the opened book are a reminder of the vanity of all worldly things and an admonition to strive to overcome it.
Abraham Sacrifices Isaac
This painting was part of a series about the life of Abraham (Gn 12–25) and served as a sketch for a mezzotint engraving. It shows the sacrifice of Isaac: Abraham is already lifting the knife to sacrifice his son, but an angel stops him. The pyramidal composition as well as the elaborately directed lighting emphasize the dramatic character of this scene.
Allegory of Africa
This painting belongs to a group of three oil sketches that used to be part of a four-part series with allegories of the “Four Continents” (the painting showing Europe is lost, while Australia did not have any importance in European iconography at that time). Each continent is represented by a personification and several attributes. The rocaille ornaments framing the scenes point to their use as sketches for etchings or engravings
Allegory of America
This painting belongs to a group of three oil sketches that used to be part of a four-part series with allegories of the “Four Continents” (the painting showing Europe is lost, while Australia did not have any importance in European iconography at that time). Each continent is represented by a personification and several attributes. The rocaille ornaments framing the scenes point to their use as sketches for etchings or engravings.
Allegory of Asia
This painting belongs to a group of three oil sketches that used to be part of a four-part series with allegories of the “Four Continents” (the painting showing Europe is lost, while Australia did not have any importance in European iconography at that time). Each continent is represented by a personification and several attributes. The rocaille ornaments framing the scenes point to their use as sketches for etchings or engravings.
Farewell of the Prodigal Son
The Gospel of Luke (Lk 15:11–32) narrates the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who demands his inheritance from his father, wanders abroad, and squanders it completely. When he returns to his home as a beggar, his father – exhilarated about the unexpected return – receives him with a lavish feast. The painting was part of a series that served as sketches for mezzotint engravings.
Hagar and Ishmael in the Desert
The oil sketch portrays a scene from the life of Abraham (Gn 12–25). It shows the handmaid Hagar, with whom Abraham sired Ishmael, because his wife Sarah was barren. After Sarah had a child (Isaac) of her own after all, she did not tolerate Hagar and Ishmael anymore and cast them out. After their banishment, the two nearly died of thirst in the desert, when an angel came and led them to a spring.
Paris with the River Seine – View from Pont Rouge to Pont Neuf
Besides numerous paintings and sketches in oil on canvas, Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner also made several reverse paintings on glass, for which he deployed an elaborate technique. This view of Paris – together with its counterpart which shows the same aspect from the opposite point of view (inv. no. L 2011/79) – is a particularly large example of these paintings.
Paris with the River Seine – View of Pont Neuf with Numerous Staffage Figures
Besides numerous paintings and sketches in oil on canvas, Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner also made several reverse paintings on glass, for which he deployed an elaborate technique. This view of Paris – together with its counterpart which shows the same aspect from the opposite point of view (inv. no. L 2011/78) – is a particularly large example of these paintings.
St. Maurice
This painting was a sketch for a series of engraved calendar sheets for Christians that Johann Matthias Steidlin (1717–1754) published in Augsburg 1753/55. The print for September 22nd is dedicated to the martyrs of the Theban legion and their leader, St. Maurice (depicted on the right with the red cloak and shield).
The Calling of St. Peter
The painting shows the calling of the first apostles by Christ at the Sea of Galilee. The figure of St. Peter is accentuated by the painter’s use of light and the putto carrying the papal insignia above. The ornamental arrangement of the apostles’ attributes, the water god and goddess as well as the fishing utensils, suggest the use of the painting as a sketch for etchings or engravings.
The Circumcision of Isaac
Baumgartner created numerous small paintings as sketches for engravings. This painting was part of a series with scenes from the life of Abraham (Gn 12–25). It shows the circumcision of male children that God had commanded as a sign of the covenant. In the richly populated scene, Abraham is performing this ritual on his son Isaac amidst magnificent architecture.
Young Lady at Her Toilette
Barthel Beham was a court painter of William IV, Duke of Bavaria, and particularly popular as a portraitist. The composition of his painting of a young woman doing her hair goes back to a work by Titian. It is a testimony to the reception of Italian art by German artists in the 16th century. The scene is thought to be a visualization of vanity, and thus an allusion to the fleetingness of life.
Landscape with the Flight to Egypt
Franz Joachim Beich was one of the most important landscape painters of the late baroque. Like many of his contemporaries, he referred to principles of 17th century landscape painting and adapted these to accommodate prevailing tastes. Landscapes with biblical figures are typical of his later works, which are frequently conceived as pairs – like this painting and its counterpart (inv. no. 6389).
Landscape with the Walk to Emmaus
Landscapes with biblical decorations dominated Beich's work from the late 1720s onwards. At that time, the painter worked for an aristocratic and middle-class audience as well as for monasteries. In most cases, entire series of paintings or counterparts were commissioned. There is also a counterpart to this picture (inv. no. 6389), which shows a vast landscape with the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt.
People at the Harbour
Lighting and colouring of this painting diagonally draw the viewer’s gaze from the right foreground to the lively scene of a harbour whose ancient ruins and fountain create a Southern European impression. This motif most likely can be traced back to the paintings of the “Bamboccianti”, a group of foreign genre painters working in Rome. A stay of Berchem in Italy is documented for the 1640s.
Still Life with a Relief of the Ara Pacis Augustae
This painting shows a view of the Villa Medici on Monte Pincio in Rome. The fragment of the relief used to be a part of the “Ara Pacis Augustae” that was erected in honour of Emperor Augustus between 13 and 9 BC. The grapes, pomes and flowers of the garland are repeated in the fruit arrangement in the foreground – thus establishing a figurative relationship between the past and the present.
Still Life with Tray of Beverages and Large Golden Carafe
The golden pitcher and the confectionery bowl in this elaborate and detailed still life show the crests of the counts of Lamberg and Sprinzenstein. Leopold Joseph von Lamberg, Austrian ambassador to the papal court, commissioned this painting in the year 1704, probably to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his wedding to Katharina Eleonora von Sprinzenstein.
Portrait of a Lady with a Squirrel
This painting shows an elegant lady in a stance of cool aloofness, with precious jewellery, a brocade dress, and a pet squirrel. The background architecture is close to Christoph Amberger's portrait of Konrad Peutinger (1543) and to a similar portrait known as “Portrait of a Lady of the Fugger Family”, which was probably painted around 1540 during Bordone's stay in Augsburg.
Vertumnus und Pomona
The painting shows a scene from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”: Vertumnus, the god of change and the seasons, desired Pomona, the goddess of fruit bearing trees and gardens. To convince Pomona to become his wife, Vertumnus approached her in the shape of an old woman. The painter illustrates this incident by showing Vertumnus possessively grasping Pomona’s arm.
View of Piazza San Marco
Until 1930, this painting – together with three other views of Venice – used to belong to the interior decor of Farnborough Hall. Its proprietor William Holbech acquired the series in Italy directly from his friend Canaletto. The aspect of the Piazzetta to Biblioteca Marciana, the Procuratie and the Campanile does not exist in reality, but was composed by using two different points of view.
The Institution of the Last Supper
Carlo Innocenzo Carlone came from a family of artists that existed for several centuries. After studying with Giulio Quaglio (1668–1751) and Francesco Trevisani (1656–1746), he worked from 1710 as a travelling artist in the German-speaking countries. His Bozzetto was painted as a model for the high altar-piece of the court chapel at Ludwigsburg and mirrors the latter’s execution exactly.
Still Life with Bread and Fruit
The painting follows the tradition of small-scale Netherlandish breakfast pieces that emerged during the early 17th century. It is signed in the same way as a cartouche of flowers from the year 1672 (formerly Danish private collection). The signature can probably be identified with the painter Conrad Frandsen, who possibly hailed from the Netherlands and worked for the Danish court.
Sewing Madonna
The Southern Italian painter Francesco Cozza was a student of Domenichino (1581–1641) in Rome. Cozza’s portrayal of the sewing Mother of Christ was probably painted in collaboration with his workshop and repeats a motif that he had already painted twice: for the church of San Bernardino in Molfetta/Apulia (lost) and the Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome.
Frederick III, Elector of Saxony (1463–1525)
In 1505, Lucas Cranach settled in Wittenberg as a court painter to the Prince-electors of Saxony. A close friend to Martin Luther, from 1517 on, he became the founder of Protestant iconography. The portrait shows Cranach’s employer and Luther’s patron Frederick III with the facial features characteristic of all of his portraits. He is wearing a wire cap and a fur-trimmed overcoat.
Frederick III, Elector of Saxony (1463–1525)
In 1505, Lucas Cranach settled in Wittenberg as a court painter to the Prince-electors of Saxony. A close friend to Martin Luther, from 1517 on, he became the founder of Protestant iconography. The portrait shows Cranach’s employer and Luther’s patron Frederick III with the facial features characteristic of all of his portraits. He is wearing a wire cap and a fur-trimmed overcoat.
Benedikt Adam Liebert, Edler von Liebenhofen (1730–1810)
This portrait shows the owner of the Schaezlerpalais. On his breast, he is wearing a portrait of the empress Maria Theresia, set within a circle of brilliant cut diamonds. Liebert’s personal records tell us that it was a gift from her daughter, archduchess Maria Antonia, who was a guest in the Schaezlerpalais on her bridal journey to the court of Versailles.
Catharina Barbara Liebert, Edle von Liebenhofen, née Laire (1740–1820)
This portrait shows Benedikt Adam Liebert’s wife Catharina Barbara, née Laire. In contrast to her mother-in-law (inv. no. 12172), she is not wearing traditional Augsburg attire, but a fashionable dress underneath a red fur-lined coat (“paletot”).
Maria Josepha Victoria Magdalena von Obwexer (1724–nach 1778)
The lady shown on this portrait was the wife of the Augsburg merchant Peter Paul von Obwexer. The coffeepot and the cup refer to his occupation as an importer of products from the American colonies. The dress she is wearing is largely the same as the one on the portrait of Catharina Barbara Liebert (inv. no. 12169) – both paintings were probably prefabricated and customized to fit their subject.
This self-portrait shows the portraitist at the age of 54. He is playing a lute, and an artist’s palette is placed in front of him. A portrait of his friend – the painter Joseph Christ – can be seen on an easel in the background. At the time of the painting’s creation, Christ was staying in Russia. From 1767 to 1770 he had painted the overdoor paintings for the Schaezlerpalais.
Johann Adam Liebert, Edler von Liebenhofen (1697–1766)
Johann Adam Liebert, a jeweller and silver merchant from Biberach an der Riss (Upper Swabia), was the father of Benedikt Adam Liebert (inv. no. 12168), the owner of the Schaezlerpalais.
Johann Martin Will (1727–1806)
Johann Martin Will was originally from Kempten. In 1755 he established a publishing house for engravings that was especially known for its production of maps. The portrait shows him wearing the uniform of the Silberne Cavallerie-Compagnie (Silver Cavalry Company) of Augsburg. The map on the right likely shows a military camp, referring to Will’s position as a corporal for logistics.
Maria Elisabeth Liebert, Edle von Liebenhofen, née Mayr (1702–1771)
Maria Elisabeth Liebert, née Mayr, was the daughter of a long-established banker family and wife of Johann Adam Liebert (inv. no. 12171). On her portrait, she is wearing the traditional costume of the Protestant patrician women of Augsburg. The particular type of bonnet she is wearing is known as “Augsburger Haube” (“Augsburg bonnet”).
Elias Landsberger
George Desmarées, who grew up as the son of Huguenot immigrants in Sweden, is considered one of the most important portraitists of German Rococo. His portrait of the Electoral Bavarian chamberlain Elias Landsberger (1711–1784) is characteristic of the artist’s late œuvre: it combines Desmarées’s typically intricate rendering of clothes with the calm and unpretentious posture of the sitter.
Portrait of an Unknown Lady
Desmarées‘s painting belongs to a group of female portraits by the artist characterized by their animated and lively impression in the style of Rococo. However, the simple rendering of the dress is rather uncommon. The portrayed woman displays a certain similarity to a painting of Desmarées’ wife Maria Barbara Schuhbauer, which the artist painted ca. 1735/40 (formerly private collection, Munich).
Johann Lorenz Freiherr von Schaezler (1762–1826)
Johann Lorenz von Schaezler was born the son of the surgeon Wilhelm Friedrich Schaezler in Ansbach in 1762. He started working for Benedikt Adam Liebert’s banking house in 1791 and married his daughter Marianne Barbara (inv. no. 2005/7) two years later. His representative portrait shows him in the pose of a sophisticated gentleman in front of his summer house. The Augsburg town hall is visible in the background.
Marianne Barbara Freifrau von Schaezler, née Liebert (1768–1838)
Marianna Barbara was the daughter of Benedikt Adam Liebert (inv. no. 12168) and wife of Johann Lorenz von Schaezler (inv. no. 1992/7). Her attire reflects the fashion of the time around the year 1820. The dark green, lace-adorned velvet dress, the cream-coloured cashmere shawl and the precious jewellery contribute to her portrait’s official character.
Ecce Homo
At the age of 18, Dietrich was appointed court painter for August II the Strong. In the 1750s, one of his main subjects were biblical histories. This painting shows how Jesus – wearing the Crown of Thorns and the purple cloak – is presented to the crowds. It was likely part of a cycle illustrating the life of Christ and a counterpart to a painting of Christ preaching in the temple (private collection).
Ships at the Habour
The painting used to be attributed to the Prague genre painter Norbert Grund (1717–1761). By now however, because of similar works at the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum Brunswick, the Southern European harbour scene is counted among the works of the Dresden court painter Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich. Dietrich’s œuvre entails numerous small-scale ideal landscapes like this one.
St. Mary Magdalene
The painting shows the saint not so much in her traditional role as a penitent, but focusses rather on the elegance and sensuality of her portrayal. This is emphasized by details like the gold brocade in the front on the left and the elaborate vase of ointment. The painting is considered a work of Gerard Douffet, who lived in Italy from 1614 to 1623 and was influenced by the Caravaggisti.
Portrait of a Man
By the age of 19, van Dyck was already working as an independent and recognized master together with Peter Paul Rubens. Following the latter’s advice, he went to Italy for studies in 1621/27. The expressive facial expression and gestures of this portrait appear to be influenced by the apostles of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, as well as by Titian’s portrait of Cardinal Pietro Bembo.
After his apprenticeship with Johann Heiss and a long period of studying in Italy starting in 1711, the portrayed became one of Augsburg’s most renowned portraitists. 1742 he became court painter for the Electoral Palatinate as well as Protestant director of the academy of Augsburg. His self-portrait is said to have been part of the academy’s interior decoration.
Selbstbildnis mit Frau
Eichler married his wife Sabina Margaretha in 1747, while working as an engraver for the University of Erlangen. She is wearing the traditional costume of Bayreuth women. The signature is fragmentary and contradictory: It mentions Augsburg as the painting’s place of origin, where Eichler returned to in 1752. However, the painter’s age, as given in the signature, suggests an earlier date.
Apollo and Coronis
This painting portrays a scene of a rarely pictured mythological story: The central motif shows the death of Coronis – Apollo had ordered his sister Artemis to kill his unfaithful pregnant lover by shooting her with arrows. While Apollo is still remorsefully collecting healing herbs to try to save Coronis, a group of satyrs is already stoking up the fire to burn her dead body.
Still Life of a Forest Floor with Painted Lady, Grass Snake, Gossamer-winged Butterfly and Snail
Falch’s penchant for still lifes showing the flora and fauna of the forest floor stands within the tradition of Otto Marseus van Schrieck (1619/20–1678). Van Schrieck is also considered the inventor of the particular technique used to represent the butterflies in this painting: Real butterfly wings were pressed into the damp lower layer of paint to preserve the structure of their delicate markings.
Georg Philipp Rugendas the Elder (1666–1742)
This portrait shows Georg Philipp Rugendas the Elder, an engraver and painter of battles. In 1710, he became the first Protestant director of the Augsburg art academy. The paintbrush in his left hand alludes to his profession, but also to the fact that a medical condition forced the artist to become left-handed. The painter of the portrait was the son of Rugendas’s master Isaak Fisches the Elder.
Still Life with Bread, Fish, Ginger Root and Nutmeg
Unlike Flegel’s more sumptuous still lifes, this composition leaves an impression of scarcity. Even though the exotic spices (ginger and nutmeg) and the Chinese porcelain bowl indicate wealth and indulgence, the central motif of fish and bread creates an effect of a meal of Lenten season, and thus of abstinence and penitence.
Kitchen Still Life
The Kaufbeuren born painter Franz Friedrich Franck was trained by his father before he went to Italy for further education. Because of this, his still lifes are heavily influenced by Italian painting. Some elements of his kitchen still life can probably be traced back to Bernardo Strozzi’s (1581/82–1644) painting “The Cook”, which is kept at Palazzo Rosso in Genoa.
Still Life with Musical Instruments
The painting with its arrangement of music books and wind instruments is one part of a pair of paintings and belongs to Franz Friedrich Franck’s earliest known still lifes. The Italian version of his name in the signature as well as the stylistic proximity to the music still lifes by Evaristo Baschenis (1617–1677) suggest that it was most likely painted during Franck’s time in Italy.
The Admission of Hercules to Mt. Olympus
After accomplishing the twelve tasks set to him, Hercules is accepted into Olympus by Zeus and becomes immortal. This is illustrated by the symbol of eternity held aloft in this scene – a snake biting its own tail (Ouroboros). Further gods and goddesses appear in the background. As its counterpart “The Choice of Hercules” (inv. no. L 650), this painting most likely was an oil sketch for a larger work.
The Choice of Hercules
This oil sketch preparing a larger painting (Museums of the Town of Heilbronn), shows the ancient hero Hercules at the bottom of a flight of stairs. The cumbersome way up will lead to fame and glory, represented by the allegory of virtuousness with the laurel wreath. While the allegory of vice is trying to hold him back, Hercules’s stance already suggest his decision to follow the path of virtue.
Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery
One day, a group of scribes brought a woman accused of adultery to Jesus and asked him if she should be stoned, as prescribed by law. However, Jesus ignored them at first and wrote with his fingers on the ground (Jn 1:1–6). In this work, Gandolfi, main protagonist of the Bolognese rococo, was greatly influenced by the brilliant colours of Venetian painting.
The Loving Couple (The Artist and his Wife?)
Pierre Gaudreau, born and trained in Paris, was a representative of French baroque painting in Germany. In 1721 he worked for the court of Zweibrücken. After his marriage 1724 he was a court painter of the Electoral Palatinate in Mannheim. This gallant scene shows a woman and a man with a wine glass, probably a self-portrait of the artist and his wife.
The Adoration of St. Benedict by the Continents
The particular appeal of this oil sketch is rooted in its spontaneous character, which suggests it is an early draft. It is unknown if the design was ever executed as a ceiling painting. However, Gebhard created similar compositions of the same subject for a side altarpiece of the monastery church in Michelfeld as well as for an annexe of the Benedictine monastery of Ensdorf (Upper Palatinate).
Balaam and the Angel
According to the Book of Numbers (22:21–34), the prophet Balaam set forth to the king of Moab to curse the approaching Israelites. In the face of an angel with a sword, Balaam’s donkey shied and broke down beneath him. When he beat her, she lamented this in a human voice. Thereupon, Balaam saw the angel as well and realized that he had sinned.
Anna Sybilla Gullmann, née Benz (1735–1763)
For a long time, this portrait of Anna Sybilla Gullmann was only known through a mezzotint engraving by Johann Jacob Haid (1704–1767). Just recently, the original was re-discovered in private property. Anna Sybilla, who died at the young age of 27, was the wife of the Augsburg tradesman and jeweller Marcus Balthasar Gullmann (1731–1774).
Bernard François Ducrue (1730–1796)
Bernard François Ducrue was a member of the Augsburg merchant family Ducrue who originally hailed from France. Their trade was in silks and wool from Switzerland. Anton Graff portrayed the fashionably attired tradesman in an elegant pose befitting his rank.
Jakobine Barbara Mayer, née Haid (ca. 1739 – before 1799)
The portrait of the Swiss painter Anton Graff most likely shows Jakobine Barbara Mayer, the daughter of the Augsburg engraver and publisher Johann Jakob Haid (1704–1767). Her first marriage was to the merchant and silver jeweller Johann Elias Mayer (inv. no. 2012/30). Graff portrayed her in the traditional attire of the Protestant patricians of Augsburg.
Johann Elias Mayer (1722–1772)
The painting most likely shows Johann Elias Mayer. Mayer was an associate at the Rauner silver trading company that mainly supplied the courts of Württemberg and Bavaria. In his portrait, he is wearing a French style suit. The inventory book, the writing utensils and the stylus mark him as a successful silver jeweller and tradesman.
Johanna Jakobina Magdalena Freifrau von Pfister (born ca. 1740/41)
The portrayed was a daughter of the politically influential Protestant patrician family Amman. Her marriage to Martin Matthäus von Pfister from Lindau in 1763 was most likely the occasion for commissioning this portrait. The elaborate rendering of her precious clothes made of fur, silk, lace and golden tassels illustrates her high social standing.
Marie Anne Josephe Ducrue (born 1739)
Marie Anne Josephe Ducrue, née Passy, was the daughter of a French merchant family, who intermittently did trade in Augsburg. Befitting her rank, she got married to the tradesman Bernard François Ducrue in 1761.
Alexander and Cleophis (?)
In his late œuvre, Nicola Grassi often copied works of others artists – this historical scene and its counterpart, too, probably date back to a painting that has not been preserved. The interpretation of the scene as Alexander the Great’s meeting with the Assacani queen Cleophis is disputable, as the portrayal of Alexander as a middle-aged bearded man would be highly unconventional.
Anthony and Cleopatra
Before the large-scale painting and its counterpart (inv. no. 3698) were attributed to Nicola Grassi, they were considered works of his contemporaries Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (1675–1741) or Giovanni Battista Pittoni (1687–1767). Regarding their format and their composition with only few interacting half figures, they are typical examples of Venetian history painting in the first half of the 18th century.
Painting of a Gallery
The baroque gallery shown within this painting was often thought of as being a representation of a room of Palais Schwarzenberg in Vienna, partly because Peter Paul Rubens’s “Ganymed” (shown here in the upper left corner) used to be kept there. However, the figures in the foreground suggest that more likely the artist’s intention was to show a fictitious art dealer’s shop.
River Landscape
This seascape used to be attributed to the Prague genre painter Norbert Grund (1717–1767). Indeed, Grund’s œuvre entails similar motifs of comparable size. However, some of his typical characteristics – like the lively staffage figures with colourful accents – are missing. This suggests that the painting is probably the work of a contemporary imitator.
Nobiltà, Blessed by Commerce
The fresco’s upper centre shows the god Apollo. Beneath him appears Mercury, god of commerce and messenger of the gods. From his hands, a ray of light pours down onto the allegory of “Nobiltà” (nobility). She alludes to the ennoblement of the building’s owner, Benedikt Adam Liebert von Liebenhofen, in 1763. Allegories of the Fine Arts and the Three Graces complement her.
Cupid and Psyche
This painting in oil on copper was most likely part of the cabinet of arts of Emperor Rudolf II in Prague. 1623, in exchange for a piece of diamond jewellery, it became the property of a Frankfurt jeweller. The imperial court painter Gundelach created the painting’s composition probably after an engraving of Michelangelo’s lost painting “Leda”.
St. Charles Borromeo Gives the Sacrament to a Man Stricken by the Plague
Gottfried Bernhard Göz belonged to the circle of Johann Georg Bergmüller (1688–1762), Catholic director of the Augsburg academy. The painting shows Charles Borromeo, archbishop of Milan and cardinal. Because of his commitment during the Milan plague epidemic in 1576–78, he was canonized in 1610. Typical of the portrayal of the saint are the gaunt facial features and the long, crooked nose.
Mary Immaculate with St. James and St. Leonard of Noblac
This sketch for the high altar of the parish church of St. James and Leonard in Badia (South Tyrol) shows both saints at the feet of Mary Immaculate. St. James the Greater is kneeling on the left wearing the attire of a pilgrim. On the right stands St. Leonard of Noblac, wearing the habit of the Benedictines. The horses and cattle behind him indicate his role as the patron saint of livestock.
St. Dominic Receives a Rosary from St. Mary
The painting – likely a sketch for an altar piece – shows the Virgin Mary giving a rosary to St. Dominic. To the right kneels St. Catherine of Siena, crowned with a golden crown of thorns by the divine infant. Beneath the scene, a dog with a torch – an allusion to Dominican monks being called “domini canes” (“hounds of the Lord”) – is pictured on a globe surrounded by the plummeting vices.
St. Joseph as Intercessor
In the centre of this scene, Emperor Leopold I commends his son Joseph to St. Joseph as intercessor to the Holy Trinity. In the lower third, all social classes join this supplication, which is shown being received and acknowledged by Christ. St. Joseph was the patron saint of the House of Habsburg and the Erblande (Hereditary Lands) of Austria.
St. Michael
The painting shows the Archangel Michael, who, according to the Revelation of St. John of Patmos (Rv 12,7–20,2-3) and the Golden Legend, threw the fallen angel Lucifer into hell before the beginning of creation. The painting was probably used as a sketch for an altar piece or in context with the production of a thesis sheet.
The Martyrdom of St. Marinus
This oil sketch for the choir fresco of the Benedictine abbey church of Rott am Inn shows the martyrdom of St. Marinus. In the mid-600s, the Iro-Scottish missionary settled as a hermit in Wilparting on the Irschenberg hill range. In 697 he died during an attack by heathen Vandals. The bozzetto shows the mistreatment and incineration of the saint as well as his ascension.
The Tale of Aeneas
The painting is a copy – supposedly by the artist himself – of the original draft for a fresco in the Southern gallery of the New Palace in Stuttgart (destroyed 1944). It shows Poseidon, who – adhering to Hera’s wishes – sends storms to prevent Aeneas’s fleet from crossing the sea. Aeneas’s mother Aphrodite however, asks Zeus for help, and thus the ancient hero finally disembarks in Italy.
The Worship of the Apocalyptic Lamb
Surrounded by the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders, the Lamb is situated under God the Father on the book with the Seven Seals of God. On the lower right-hand side, John the Evangelist can be seen writing down this vision in the Revelation (Rev 4–5). The painting is a sketch for the fresco in the choir of the church of the Benedictine abbey of Amorbach, executed in 1745.

Restored in 2020 with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung.
Cattle in Front of a River Valley
The background of this painting most likely shows the Volturno valley North of Naples in Southern Italy. As court painter of Ferdinand IV of Naples, Hackert painted numerous landscapes, predominantly in the 1790s. 1799 he settled in Tuscany, where he began to dedicate his time to the portrayal of cattle, goats and donkeys in the countryside on small-scaled wooden panels.
Ecce Homo
Hardly any facts are known about the life of the painter Johann Hausser von Ach. His composition of the biblical „Ecce Homo“-scene (Jn 19:4–6) is related to a painting of the same subject that was painted by Johann Rottenhammer in 1597. Rottenhammer’s painting was widely known through several copies. In succession, Hausser’s own version of the motive was copied multiple times as well.
Landscape with Bathing Women
Heimbach’s painting of a group of bathing women shows a motif prevalent in baroque and renaissance art. However, in this case, the scene is not connected to a mythological or biblical topic. It is one of about 40 known genre paintings by the artist, but one of only a few taking place during the light of day in his œuvre, which is dominated by interior and night scenes.
Cupid and Psyche
This scene is based on a story from the novel “The Golden Ass” written by the ancient Roman author Apuleius: The god Cupid visited his beloved Psyche only in the dark of night, so that she never actually saw him. The painting shows Psyche catching a glimpse of Amor in the light of an oil lamp. However, struck by a drop of hot oil, he wakes and vanishes from her.
Leda and the Swan
This painting by Joseph Heintz, showing Zeus seducing the Spartan queen Leda in the guise of a swan, emerged 2013 in the art trade. Until then, it had been supposed to be lost. Its composition though, was known thanks to three drawings kept in Prague and Vienna. The signature discovered during the painting’s restoration enabled its certain attribution to Heintz’s œuvre.
The Coronation of the Doge on the Scala dei Giganti
This painting by Joseph Heintz the Younger shows the coronation of the Doge on the ceremonial staircase of the Doge’s palace in Venice. Because of the colossal sculptures by Jacopo Sansovino, it is also known as “Scala dei Giganti”. Heintz shows us the climax of the ritual, in which the oldest councilor places the “zogia”, the traditional cap worn for the coronation, on the Doge’s head.
Allegory of Summer
Complex allegorical or mythological iconographic programmes are characteristic of the work of Johann Heiss. His allegory of summer shows a harvest festival in honour of Cybele, goddess of the earth. Numerous details allude to the hot temperatures of summer – such as the sleeping rain goddess with her empty water jug on the cloud at the upper left or the summerly produce on the terrestrial level.
Josiah Destroys the Pagan Idols
Heiss’s representation of the destruction of the pagan idols by the Judean king Josiah (2 Ch 34:1–7) is an educational painting in the sense of the reformatory Lutheran church: Following the example of Josiah, artworks that were objects of worship were to be shunned. Educational paintings however, were used in churches and private households for teaching people about the principles of faith.
Mars and Venus
During Renaissance humanism, the adulterous liaison between Mars and Venus was reinterpreted as a symbol for the peacemaking power of love. In the 16th century, this became a popular subject for cycles of paintings showing various mythological couples. Along with its counterpart “Venus and Adonis”, Heiss’s painting likely used to belong to such a cycle.
Sculptors‘ Academy with Two Female Models
Heiss painted numerous variations of art academies in varying dimensions. These scenes used to be the painter’s most popular subject. They were not merely meant to be a documentation of the rooms and the lecture at contemporary academies, which were fairly new at that time. Rather, they refer to the notion of their aims and tasks by combining genre painting with classical elements.
Venus and Adonis
According to Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”, the goddess Venus fell in love with the beautiful hunter Adonis. Despite Venus’s warnings, he went on a hunt where he was killed by a wild boar sent by jealous Mars. Heiss’s painting of Adonis taking leave of Venus has no direct precedent in classical literature, but dates back to a painting by Titian from 1553/54.
Psyche, Unperturbed, Passing the Fates
As told in the “Metamorphoses” by Apuleius, Psyche had to pass several tests to be reunited with her lover Cupid. For one, she was supposed to fetch a portion of the beauty of Proserpina, goddess of the underworld, out of Hades. Not wanting to put the fulfilment of her task at risk, she refused to help the fates with their weaving, and thus continued on her way.
Still Life with an Ornamental Ivory Jug
The painting is the first of many elaborate still lifes that Hinz specialized in. With these works, he responded to the altered demands of his clientele, who had come to new wealth following the Thirty Years’ War. Their composition dates back to Dutch still life painting, while the design of the ornamental jars can be traced back to engravings by Jean Lepautre (1618–1682).
Christian Georg von Köpf the Elder (1699–1758)
This painting shows Christian Georg Köpf, one of Augsburg’s major bankers in the 18th century, whom the emperor ennobled in 1733. The painting shows a distinct reference to its counterpart – the portrait of Köpf’s wife Maria Magdalena (inv. no. L 802). Köpf was the owner of the house at Fuggerplatz 9 (formerly Philippine-Welser-Straße 28), diagonally opposite the Maximilianmuseum.
Maria Magdalena von Köpf
The counterpart to Christian Georg von Köpf’s portrait (inv. no. L 801) shows Maria Magdalena, his second wife since 1735. She is resting against a dresser in front of a niche, her profile reflected in a mirror on the left, presenting a ring to the viewer. The gestures of the married couple enhance the painting’s impression of immediacy and involve the viewer in an imaginary dialogue.
The Glory of St. Felicitas and Her Seven Sons
This painting was the sketch for the high altar piece of the abbey church of Münsterschwarzach, which was demolished in the 1820s. It shows the transfiguration of St. Felicitas and her seven sons, who died as martyrs. Since Holzer died before he could finish the altar piece, it was finalized by his teacher Johann Georg Bergmüller (1688–1762). It has been lost since the secularization in 1803.
The Holy Kinship
This small scale oil painting served as a sketch for an altar piece for the house chapel of the Brentano-Moretto family (Maximilianstraße 57). Apart from the Holy Family and St. Anne, it shows the infant St. John and his parents Zechariah and Elizabeth on the lower left, as well as St. Mary’s father Joachim, King David with the harp and the patriarch Abraham in the background above.
The Martyrdom of St. Felicitas and Her Seven Sons
The early Christian saint Felicitas died a martyr together with her sons in 162 AD. She was the main patron saint of the Benedictine abbey church of Münsterschwarzach. The painting – partially trimmed and painted over in later years – was a sketch for the middle fresco of the church’s nave. Holzer also repeated this composition in an autonomous painting (private collection).
The Saints of the Order of St. Benedict (Bozzetto for the Cupola of the Abbey church of Münsterschwarzach)
The painting used to be the commissioned model for the fresco of the cupola of the former monastery church of Münsterschwarzach. To avoid an extreme distortion of the cupola in its two-dimensional rendering, Holzer arranged the composition similar to a “cut-out sheet” in four separate partial views. The central view shows St. Benedict and Scholastica with the Mother of God and the Holy Trinity.
Tribute to Mrs. Bergmüller
Chronos, the god of time, is presenting a portrait of Barbara Bergmüller – the wife of Holzer’s teacher Johann Georg Bergmüller (1688–1762) – to Juno, Minerva, Fortuna, Hercules and a goddess wearing a mural crown (Augusta?). The painting can be understood as an homage to the married couple. However, neither the individual figures nor the occasion for its creation have been clearly identified yet.
Johann Josef Anton Hubert was a student of Johann Georg Bergmüller and Catholic director of the Augsburg art academy from 1784 to 1815. The painting is a late work of the artist and possibly associated with the more extensive fresco the artist painted in 1793 for the nave of the pilgrimage church St. Maria Loreto on the “Kobel”-hill in Westheim near Augsburg.
Tobit and the Angel
According to the Book of Tobit, the archangel Raphael advised Tobit to set aside the entrails of a fish (Tob 6:1–9). The latter used these to heal his blind father and to save his wife Sara from a demon. This biblical scene was a common motif in Dutch painting of the first half of the 17th century, while the spatial composition alludes to the works of Adam Elsheimer.
Laughing Boy
The painting was painted after the original by Frans Hals (Mauritshuis, Den Haag), which was created between 1620 and 1625. Several further copies of this motif are known to exist; however, none of them matches the original with its more nuanced effects of light and its distinctly looser, sketchy painting style, that is typical of Frans Hals's paintings from the mid-1620s.
The Satyr and the Peasant Family
An Aesopian fable tells about a satyr visiting a peasant family. When the peasant blew first on his hands to warm them and immediately afterwards on his food to cool it, the satyr became supremely irritated and fled the house. Three more variations exist of this motif, whose moralizing message is to beware of deceitfulness.
Farewell to Cythera (Fête Galante)
The Greek island of Cythera in ancient times was said to have been the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. Thus, it was considered a destination of pilgrimage for lovers and seekers of love. However, these were not supposed to stay there: Like in its famous counterpart “The Embarkation for Cythera” by Antoine Watteau, here too a boat is waiting to take the lovers back into their everyday life.
Portrait of a Young Woman
Isaac de Joudreville used to be a student of Rembrandt between 1629 and 1631. In his early œuvre, he painted copies and variations of his master’s works. Rembrandt’s portraits also heavily influenced this portrait of a young woman. Since Joudreville had fallen into oblivion by the end of the 19th century, his paintings – and this one as well – were often attributed to Rembrandt himself.
Clio, Muse of History
Clio, one of the nine Olympian patron goddesses of the arts, is leaning against a container with papyrus scrolls while holding a laurel wreath in her hand. The scroll’s inscriptions (“ILIA[S]”, “ODI[SSEE]”, „E[NEAS]”) allude to the grand epics of Homer and Virgil while the container’s inscription (“ΚΛΕΙΩ Ι[Σ]ΤΟΡΙΑΝ” – “Clio makes history”) allows the identification of the allegorical figure.
Glory of St. Benedict and Scholastica (Intercessio Mariae)
This oil painting was part of a series of sketches intended for the 1770-finished altarpiece of the choir hall of the Benedictine monastery of Ettal. Before, Knoller had already painted frescoes for the monastery’s presbytery. The painting shows the intercession of St. Mary on behalf of St. Benedict (kneeling in foreground on the left) and his sister Scholastica before the Holy Trinity.
Assembly of All Saints
Johann König was able to revert to several precursors regarding this late work: Titian, Tintoretto or Veronese (among others) had all created large paintings showing the assembly of All Saints. In contrast to these works, König’s oil on copper is a small sized devotional picture showing Christ on the globe in its centre, surrounded by countless biblical figures and saints.
Ecce Homo
In contrast to his contemporary Hans Hausser von Ach, Johann König painted the “Ecce Homo”-scene (Jn 19:4–6) as a simple group of three. Flanked by Pilate and a young soldier, Christ is shown in the middle with the Crown of Thorns, the purple robe and a reed in mockery of a sceptre. König continued to use this composition for several other paintings of the same subject.
Landscape with the Nymph Arethusa and the River-God Alpheus
The painting shows the beginning of an episode of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”: The nymph Arethusa had just undressed to bath in a river, when the river-god Alpheus appeared and began to pursue her. The picture is the third version Johann König painted of this motif. However, only the constellation of its characters shows similarities to the earlier versions.
Salmacis and Hermaphroditus (Bathing Nymphs)
The scene shown in this painting – which has been trimmed on the left-hand side – can be traced back to Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”: The nymph Salmacis was enamoured by the youth Hermaphroditus. The gods answered her prayers and united their bodies. In this picture, Hermaphroditus has grown breasts in the wake of the gods’ enchantment and is sleeping in an idyllic landscape surrounded by nymphs.
The Conversion of St. Augustine
The oil sketch shows the conversion of the Church Father Augustine to Christianity: A heavenly voice commanded him to “Take up and read!”. Thereupon, he opened a book of the Epistles of St. Paul (Romans 13:13) and subsequently gave up his worldly life. The painting – formerly attributed to Johann Georg Bergmüller – was a sketch for a wall fresco in the Catholic Holy Cross Church destroyed in 1944.
The Marriage of the Virgin
According to the Gospel of James and the medieval Golden Legend, Joseph was chosen by a divine sign as husband of St. Mary, who lived as a consecrated virgin in the Temple in Jerusalem. The painting shows Mary receiving the ring during their marriage. It was a sketch for the ceiling fresco of the oratory of the convent church St. Fridolin in Bad Säckingen.
Baron Dr. Wolfgang von Schaezler (1880–1967)
In remembrance of their two sons who both died during the Second World War, Baroness Hilda Sophia Helene and Baron Dr. Wolfgang von Schaezler endowed their city mansion – the so-called “Schaezlerpalais” – to the city of Augsburg in 1958 to use for cultural purposes. The city commissioned the portraits of the donors (inv. no. 2005/3 and 2005/4) in autumn 1959.
Baroness Hilda Sophia Helene von Schaezler (1892–1986)
In remembrance of their two sons who both died during the Second World War, Baroness Hilda Sophia Helene and Baron Dr. Wolfgang von Schaezler endowed their city mansion – the so-called “Schaezlerpalais” – to the city of Augsburg in 1958 to use for cultural purposes. The city commissioned the portraits of the donors (inv. no. 2005/3 and 2005/4) in autumn 1959.
Ideal Landscape with Bathing Nymphs
The painting shows an ideal landscape from an elevated viewpoint, in which a group of bathing women is standing next to a lake surrounded by trees. The composition dates back to works by the likes of Claude Lorrain (1600–1682) and Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) and alludes to the topos of ancient Arcadia as well as to the mythological motif of bathing nymphs.
The Hubris of Brennus
According to Livy, after being conquered by the Gaul Brennus, Rome was supposed to be ransomed by paying 1000 pounds of gold. However, the weights the Gauls used for weighing the gold were counterfeit, and the Romans objected to this. Thereupon, crying “Vae victis” (“Woe to the conquered”), Brennus added his sword to the scales. Later, he was driven out of the city by the Roman dictator Camillus.
The Revelation of Divine Wisdom
The painting was a sketch for the destroyed fresco in the library hall of the Premonstratensian abbey of Klosterbruck in Moravia. Maulbertsch created a complex iconographic program for this assignment: It combines mythological themes, allegories and biblical characters to a chronological sketch of the progression from the uncivilized beginnings of humankind to divine wisdom.
David with the Head of Goliath
Johann Ulrich Mayr was a student of Rembrandt and Jacob Jordaens, whose influence is clearly palpable in his œuvre. He returned to Augsburg in 1662 and became director of the academy of arts in 1684 and a sought-after painter for portraits of Augsburg and Nuremberg patricians. The painting shown here used to be counted among his self-portraits, but it most likely shows one of his wealthy clients.
In an approximation of Dutch and French portraits, the young and elegantly dressed artist presents himself self-confidently within an illusionist window frame. In the background on the right, a palette and paint brushes appear as insignia of his profession. A tome, as well as a drawing board and pencil allude to Mayr’s perception of himself as “Pictor doctus” – a painter well-versed in art theory.
Augustus and Cleopatra
After her defeat in the Battle of Actium 31 BC, Cleopatra tried in vain to plead for mercy during a last conversation with Augustus (Octavian). Mengs painted this sceneas a model for a painting for the English banker Henry Hoare. The painting is counted among the earliest works of Neo-classicism and greatly influenced the works of Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) and his contemporaries.
Self-Portrait at the Age of 31
In 1778, after stays in Amsterdam, Cape Town and Rome, Johann Jakob Mettenleiter settled in Augsburg, where the self-portrait shown here was painted. The small-scale portrait shows the painter in a round arch window, following the style of works by the Rembrandt student Gerard Dou (1613–1675) and the Leiden school. A bigger version is kept at the Ferdinandeum Innsbruck (inv. no. 1022).
Self-Portrait with the Engraver Johann Elias Haid
This copper plate is a typical example of a conversation piece of the 18th century. It shows the painter Johann Jakob Mettenleiter (left) together with his friend, the engraver Johann Elias Haid (right). Haid was the son of the Augsburg artist and publisher Johann Jakob Haid. The latter is shown on the portrait in the background, which was painted by his student Anton Graff in 1766.
St. Michael
Mildorfer was a student of Paul Troger in Vienna and worked for the imperial family as well as for numerous churches and monasteries in Hungary, Moravia and Slovakia. His painting of the fight of the Archangel Michael against Lucifer (Rev 12:7–9) focuses completely on the adversaries. The dominating, brightly painted figure of St. Michael leaves no doubt regarding the victory of good over evil.
The Sermon of St. John the Baptist
In Protestant understanding, the motif of the sermon of St. John was connected to the concept of repentance and – because of its portrayal of a sermon held outdoors – perceived as criticism of the institutionalised church. The self-portrait of the Protestant painter Mozart in the foreground (who was not related to the homonymous musician family) evokes the impression of a personal confession.
Allegory of the Coronation of Pope Clement XIII
The motif of this painting – likely a sketch for a bigger work – pays homage to Pope Clement XIII who came from a noble Venetian family and was elected on July 6, 1758. Several aspects of the painting allude to his origins, like the view of the Piazzetta San Marco on the lower left as well as the central figure of St. Mark, who is casting out heresy and pointing up to the pope’s crest.
A Couple Playing Music
Interiors with couples playing music are one of the main topics found in Ochtervelt’s œuvre. Here, a singer is striking a key on a spinet for her accompanist, who is tuning a viola da gamba. The motif of couples making music and harmonizing with each other was perceived as an allegory of love in Dutch baroque painting. The little dog most likely is a symbol of fidelity.
Playing Children
This painting by the Northern German painter Ovens, who mainly used to work for the dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, does not merely show the portrait-like images of two playing children (probably the artist’s own?): With its vanity related symbols of flowers and soap bubbles, it is also an allegory of the fleetingness of all worldly things.
Sacra Conversazione
The oil sketch was formerly attributed to Joseph Ignaz Mildorfer (1719–1775). A second version, most likely by the same painter, is kept in the Belvedere at Vienna (inv. no. 4534) and considered a work by Franz Anton Palko (1717–1766). The composition dates back to Sebastiano Ricci’s (1659–1734) altarpiece for San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice but shows numerous alterations compared to the original.
Venus and Adonis
According to a story from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”, the goddess Venus tried in vain to stop her lover Adonis from leaving for a hunt, during which he was killed by a wild boar. The rear-view figure of Venus, sitting vis-à-vis to Adonis, dates back to the painting of the same topic that Titian painted in 1553/54 for Philipp II of Spain (Museo del Prado, Madrid).
Bacchus und Ceres
The motif dates back to a quote by the Roman playwright Terence, according to which there is no joy in love without good food and wine. The centre of the composition shows Ceres, the goddess of agriculture, and Bacchus, the god of wine; on the upper right hovers Cupid, the god of love. The other figures represent different aspects of love: chaste and spiritual as well as inebriant and carnal.
St. Mary Worships the Child
The painting’s central theme is the “doctrine of the two natures of Christ”, according to which Christ is simultaneously human and divine. This is accomplished by a compositional dichotomy: The Mother of God in front of a scenic background refers to the earthly origin, God Father and the dove of the Holy Spirit to the divine nature of Christ, who appears as a child on the altar mensa.
Three Vestals at the Sacrificial Altar
Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, was particularly venerated in the state cult of ancient Rome. To ward off harm, six priestesses had to tend an eternal fire in a temple on the Forum. From 1752 on, Rode painted several variations of this motif after French masters. In this painting, he shows us two of these vestal virgins clothed in white as well as a servant stoking the fire.
Goats and Lamb in Front of a Rock Face
In front of a rocky scenery, Philipp Peter Roos monumentally portrays a lying kid, a goat and a ram as well as a herding dog in the background. Based on the works of Dutch animal painters like Paulus Potter, Roos, who settled in Italy in 1677, often forwent painting human figures and concentrated on portraying the individual traits of animals instead.
Mars and Venus
Both Homer and Ovid wrote about the liaison between Mars, god of war, and Venus, goddess of love. Their love affair agitated the gods greatly, because Venus cheated on her husband Vulcan, whose workshop is shown in the background on the right. Regarding this motif, which became popular during the Renaissance, Rottenhammer could draw on famous precursors like Titian’s “Venus of Urbino” (1538).
The Baptism of Christ
This oil on copper shows the baptism of Christ by St. John the Baptist in the river Jordan (Mt 3:13–17). Rottenhammer places this scene within a richly populated riverscape. In the middle, the sky above Jesus has opened and the Holy Spirit comes floating down in the shape of a dove. Numerous copies and repetitions of this motive pay testament to the composition’s immense popularity.
The Massacre of the Innocents
When the rumour that a new king had been born in Bethlehem reached Herod, he commanded that all children under the age of two should be killed to eliminate his future rival (Mt 2:16). Rottenhammer portrays this gruesome massacre within an agitated scenery in front of a palace, while on a hill in the middle ground the Holy Family can be seen on their flight to Egypt.
The Wedding at Cana
Rottenhammer composed the biblical scene of the wedding at Cana (Jn 2:1–11) as an elaborate feast in the style of Venetian painters like Paolo Veronese. In the banquet’s foreground, he places the jugs containing the water, which Jesus turned into wine when the latter was running low during the celebrations.
Albert VII, Archduke of Austria (1559–1621)
Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, the youngest son of Emperor Maximilian II, had become Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands in 1596. In 1609, he engaged Peter Paul Rubens as court painter. The portrait’s colouring follows an original by Rubens from 1609/10. Some details, however, correspond to another version from 1615, which is only known through an engraving by Jan Muller.
Military Camp
Georg Philipp Rugendas specialized early in the depiction of horses and battle scenes, which was unusual for the art in Augsburg at that time. Many of his paintings do not show documentary representations of historical events, but rather anecdotic genre scenes. This is also the case for this late work, which stylistically refers to a number of similar paintings made around 1712.
The Siege of Augsburg 1703/04
The painting shows the siege of Augsburg by the French-Bavarian army at the end of 1703, when the city was occupied by the forces of the House of Habsburg during the War of the Spanish Succession. Characteristic of Rugendas’s œuvre is less the reference to tangible local aspects like the city’s skyline, but rather his focus on the processes of warfare illustrated by its typical protagonists.
Hilly Landscape with a View of Bentheim Castle
The artist belonged to the van Ruisdael family, who, in the 17th century, were known as painters of landscapes. With his friend Nicolaes Berchem he travelled to Bentheim, Lower Saxony, in 1650. Subsequently, he painted about thirty views of the local castle. On this picture, the building recedes into the background, focussing instead on the imposing scenery of rocks, trees and cloudscapes.
The Quarrel about the Prey
A tiger, a lion and a fallow deer buck – animals that usually do not share a habitat –, make up the central motif of this scene, which is taking place in a setting reminiscent of ancient architecture. This unusual combination is characteristic of the dramatic, symbolically moralising portrayals of animal fights in Flemish 17th century painting that Ruthart draws on heavily here.
Still Life with Fruit and Flowers
Alongside the genre painter Judith Leyster, Rachel Ruysch is regarded the most important female painter of the Netherlands in the 17th century. During her lifetime, she gained the highest recognition and worked for Johann Wilhelm II, Elector Palatine, and the court of Florence. Her extraordinary attention to details can be traced back to the nature studies of her father, a professor for botany.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
The grisaille technique used in this painting suggests that it used to be a sketch for a mezzotint engraving. Starting in the 1730s, Scheffler had drafted numerous thesis sheets for several publishers in Augsburg. It is most likely that this oil sketch – with its scenes from the life of St. Bernard and its blank rocaille cartouches – served a preliminary work for such a thesis sheet as well.
In Front of the Sutler’s Tent
During a lull in combat, a group of soldiers and officers entertains themselves with card games, alcohol and flirting with a young woman in front of a sutler‘s tent. The range of motifs, composition and brush stroke of the genre painter Scheits are greatly influenced by his master Philips Wouwerman, as well as by Rembrandt and Frans Hals, whom he knew personally.
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
Together with its companion piece (inv. no. L 821), this picture and six other paintings of heroes of the Old Testament adorned a non-preserved wardrobe for paraments in the sacristy of the Carthusian monastery of Aggsbach in Lower Austria. The genre-like and sensually portrayed scenes are rather unusual and incongruous in light of this context and it is unclear yet, why exactly they were decided on.
Susanna and the Elders
Together with its companion piece (inv. no. L 820), this picture and six other paintings of heroes of the Old Testament adorned a non-preserved wardrobe for paraments in the sacristy of the Carthusian monastery of Aggsbach in Lower Austria. The genre-like and sensually portrayed scenes are rather unusual and incongruous in light of this context and it is unclear yet, why exactly they were decided on.
St. Nicholas of Tolentino and St. Sebastian
This small wooden panel is a repetition of a well-known work by the Munich painter Christoph Schwarz: The original is a large-sized altar painting, once belonging to the furnishings of the house chapel of Ferdinand, Prince of Bavaria. The panel’s composition corresponds – minor details excepted – to this painting and shows a few characteristics that suggest Schwarz himself painted it.
Christ the Redeemer
Schönfeld’s painting dates back to the iconographic type of the “Salvator Mundi”, that is, Christ as Redeemer, lifting his hand in a gesture of benediction. The painting was likely modelled on Georg Petel’s “Christ the Redeemer” from the Augsburg parish church of St. Moritz. Schönfeld translates the three-dimensional dynamic of this sculpture into painting by a diverse use of lighting and colour.
Draughtsmen in Roman Ruins
Schönfeld’s painting illustrates various ways of the scholarly reception of antiquity at his time. Near the Colosseum (in the left background), a group of people is standing before the ruins of an ancient building, occupying themselves with the legacy of antiquity artistically, scientifically and in discourse. The painting likely originates from Schönfeld’s first stay in Rome around 1634/35.
Il Tempo
Apart from Chronos, the winged god of time and symbol of the brevity of life, this allegory shows a multitude of further symbols of vanitas, which were prevalent and popular during the Baroque: The soap bubbles blown by a putto sitting on a skull illustrate the fleetingness of the human existence, while the burning candle and the hourglass are symbols of mortality.
Sacrifice for Diana
In front of a monopteros-temple with a statue of Diana, goddess of the hunt, a group of priests has gathered around an incense burner. From the right, two assistants are leading a grandly decorated sacrificial stag towards them. The painting originates from Schönfeld’s first stay in Rome (1633–37/38). After his return to Germany, he painted several alternative versions of this motif.
The Confession of St. Sebastian
Using light and colours most effectively, Schönfeld portrays the moment, in which the Roman officer Sebastian confesses his Christian faith to Emperor Diocletian in a theatrical pose. Regarding this motif, the painter created a novelty, which does not date back to any known iconographic tradition. The painting was most likely created as an altar piece or devotional picture.
The Death of St. Rosalia of Palermo
According to legend, in the 12th century, St. Rosalia lived as a hermit on Monte Pellegrino in Palermo. Until today, she is a patron saint of the city. Schönfeld condensed her legend by portraying her death and the discovery of her cave in the 17th century in the same scene. The motif, which is only common in Southern Italy, was painted during the artist’s perennial stay in Naples.
The Holy Family
The painting shows the Mother of God with Jesus and John the Baptist as infants. Standing behind her, St. Joseph is looking over her shoulder at Christ. The withered white tulip with the red spots and the blue iris of the still life with flowers on the left margin allude to the future death of Christ. On the right, the painter portrays the parents of St. John, Elizabeth and Zechariah.
The Rape of Proserpina
Schönfeld’s portrayal of Proserpina’s abduction by the god of the underworld dates back to the narration in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”. However, he summarizes the events in a scene composed of non-simultaneous aspects: Cupid is shooting his arrow at Pluto, while the latter is already abducting Proserpina in his carriage, making the nymph Cyane dissolve in tears.
The Storm on the Sea of Galilee
In this painting, Schönfeld portrays the dramatic turning point of the biblical story of the stormy crossing of the Sea of Galilee by Christ and his disciples (Mt 8:23–27). While the apostles are trying to keep the ship from capsizing, two of them are approaching Christ to seek help. On the left margin of the painting, the sky is opening up, already hinting at their rescue.
A Courtly Huntress with Her Dog
This painting of a huntress belongs into the context of several hunting scenes the artist painted for Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hessen-Darmstadt. Her attire marks the portrayed as a member of courtly society, however, it does not correspond to the traditional hunting attire worn in Darmstadt. Thus, the portrayed lady is most likely either a foreign huntress or the painting is an idealized portrait.
Georg Thenn (1517–1592)
The painter appears for the first time as a portraitist at the Augsburg Reichstag in 1530. On another stay there, the artist, who had become court painter to the future Emperor Ferdinand I in 1531, painted this portrait of Georg Thenn. The patrician is portrayed in a princely pose with his hand on his hip. The golden pendant he is wearing on his breast shows the family’s crest of arms.
The Flight to Egypt
The painter shows us the scene of the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt (narrated in the Gospel of Matthew, 2:13–23) as a nightscape. By this, Sigrist is taking up an iconographic tradition founded by Adam Elsheimer. However, he foregoes a detailed portrayal of the landscape and instead focuses on the portrayed figures by the means of light and colour.
Flowers in a Glass Vase
Andreas Stech is reckoned the most important North-Eastern European painter of his time. The painting shown here is one of his few flower still lifes. Stech painted it most likely in the context of his collaboration with the Gdansk botanist Jacob Breyne (1637–1697), for whom he created drafts for a botanical textbook. A virtually identical painting is kept in the Gdansk National Museum.
Still Life with Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Portrait of Philip Melanchthon
The central motif of this still life is the portrait of the reformer Philipp Melanchthon after a painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder from 1543. The latter was created as a companion piece to a portrait of Martin Luther, which in turn was portrayed on the counterpart of the painting at hand. The spatial alignment of the objects also alludes to the painting’s conception as a part of an image pair.
Still Life with Flowers
The original purpose of this still life is unknown. It is likely that it used to be part of a series and served as an overdoor painting. This is suggested by the grand and decorative overall impression of the composition, which was intended to be viewed from a distance and the portrayal of the individual flowers, which are determinable but forego a meticulous rendition of their material character.
Encouragement and Reward of the Arts
The painting shows the allegorical „Reward of the Arts“ (represented by a group of art students) by the personification of art, accompanied by Minerva, the goddess of crafts, and Chronos, the god of time. It alludes to the annual award ceremony, which was held from 1780 to 1812 by the “Reichsstädtische Kunstakademie Augsburg”, a prestigious academy for art students.
Evening Woodland Landscape
Besides large-scale views of Dresden and the valley of the Elbe, smaller ideal landscapes without direct topographical reference are characteristic of the work of the Electoral Saxonian court painter Thiele. This painting is one of these, showing a couple hiking within an atmospheric evening landscape. Thiele’s œuvre anticipated much of what later became typical of the landscapes of romanticism.
Tarquin and Lucretia
The painting was part of a cycle of four overdoors that Tiepolo painted for a hall of the Palazzo Barbaro a Santo Stefano in Venice (kept in various collections today). The paintings symbolize the virtues of a wife according to examples out of Roman and Greek history. The story of Lucretia, who committed suicide after she had been raped, was perceived as a symbol for marital fidelity.
Portrait of a Young Lady
The unknown woman on this portrait, which was formely part of the “Gallery of Beauties” of the Augsburg town hall, has been identified, among others, as the writer Sophie von La Roche. In 1749/53 she lived in Biberach an der Riss near the castle of count Stadion (where Tischbein was staying in 1751) together with her sister Catharina von Hillern, who also might have been the painting’s model.
Dominica Martha Grassi (1775–1854)
The so-called „Leipziger Tischbein“ was a nephew of Johann Heinrich Tischbein the Elder (who is also represented in the exhibition) and one of the most popular portrait painters of 18th century society. The portrait shows the wife of the Leipzig merchant Franz Joseph Grassi, in accordance with the ideal of women at the time, with her knitting. She is dressed according to the fashion of the Empire.
Karl Haberstock (1878–1956)
The portrait of Haberstock, who was 36 years old when it was painted, belongs to the impressionist later works of Trübner. Via their mutual acquaintance Max Liebermann, the painter had met the art dealer, who subsequently sold a considerable part of Trübner’s œuvre at his Berlin gallery. According to historical documents, the portrait was painted there as well.
Susanna im Bade
Die Geschichte der Tugendheldin Susanna (Dan 13,1–64), die trotz drohender Anklage als Ehebrecherin der Begierde zweier Richter widersteht, war ein äußerst beliebtes Thema in der Malerei, bot sie doch die Möglichkeit, eine nackte Schöne im Bad darzustellen. U. a. aufgrund der Nähe zur venezianischen Malerei wurde das Bild ehemals dem Umkreis von Johann König oder Hans von Aachen zugeordnet.
Noli me tangere
The translation of the Latin expression “Noli me tangere” means “Do not touch me”. According to the Gospel of John (Jn 20:17), Jesus said this to Mary Magdalene when she met him near the empty tomb after he had risen from the dead. The scene that is only mentioned by John, constituted a widely spread iconographic tradition, reaching from the high middle ages to the 20th century.
Portrait of a Man
The painting – dated 1693 (or 1698?) on the upper right and characterized by its loose brushstrokes – is rather unusual for a portrait. The averted eyes and pensive look suggest that it was painted as an expression study or maybe a self-portrait. The latter held a special position in portrait painting, since it did not need to submit to the conventions of representative images.
Portrait Study of an Old Man
The way this portrait is painted suggests that it was meant to be watched from a distance. Its motif is reminiscent of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) or Jacob Jordaens (1593–1678), to whom it was originally attributed. However, close-up, it differs somewhat from Jordaens’ style of painting. The canvas is cropped on all sides – thus it is likely that the painting used to be bigger or belonged within a greater context.
Portrait of a Cobbler
The painting’s signature is rather puzzling: It suggests that the painter Georg Friedrich Pfandzelt (approx. 1685–1765), a citizen of Ulm, was either its painter or its portrayed subject. However, the man on the portrait is a cobbler, not a painter, and the painting’s style does not allow for a convincing attribution to Pfandzelt’s œuvre.
Nude Study of St. Sebastian (?)
The painting – formerly attributed to Paul Troger (1698–1762) – was most likely devised as a composition study or belongs in the context of an artist’s training. The composition of the nude study is influenced by Italian painting of the 17th century: perspective foreshortening was a popular stylistic device at that time, dating back to e.g. Caravaggios (1571–1610) “Conversion of St. Paul”.
Portrait of a Young Man
The back of this painting shows the year 1556 as well as the coat of arms of the Imhof family, who were residents of Augsburg and Nuremberg. The painting style, clothing and hairstyle, however, argue for its creation around 1500. The portrait might have been commissioned for the wedding or the courtship of an as of yet unidentified member of the Imhof family.
Susanna and the Elders
The story of the virtuous heroine Susanna (Dn 13:1–64), who resisted two lecherous judges even though they threatened to accuse her of adultery, was a popular motif in painting because it provided an opportunity to portray a beautiful woman while bathing. Because of its similarities to Venetian painting, the painting used to be attributed to the circle of Johann König or Hans von Aachen.
Still Life with a Parrot
The painting and its companion piece (inv. no. 3744) are part of a series of four still lifes (two of these in the depository of the museum) that were kept in the hall of the art academy of Augsburg before they were moved to one of the Prince’s Rooms in the town hall. The former attribution to the episcopal court painter Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton (1668–1754) was revised in 2015 on stylistic grounds.
Still Life with Fruit and Flowers
The painting and its companion piece (inv. no. 3741) are part of a series of four still lifes (two of these in the depository of the museum) that were kept in the hall of the art academy of Augsburg before they were moved to one of the Prince’s Rooms in the town hall. The former attribution to the episcopal court painter Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton (1668–1754) was revised in 2015 on stylistic grounds.
Jael Killing Sisera and the Adoration of the Immaculate Conception
Typology is an interpretation of the bible relating events of the Old Testament to those of the New Testament. The story of Jael and Sisera, for instance, is considered a reference to the overcoming of original sin by way of the immaculate conception of Mary. The anonymous artist used this concept in his sketch for a ceiling painting. It is unknown, if it was ever executed as a fresco.
The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River
The globe carried by angels in the upper half of the painting was also used for the oil sketch of “Jael and Sisera” (inv. no. 6182) and dates back to an unknown composition. However, that motif does not make much sense here, because the painter forewent the figure of the Immaculate Conception that technically belongs to it. Thus, it is possible that the painting was a composition study that was not meant to be executed.
Jephthah and His Daughter
The painting illustrates the Old Testament story of the judge Jephthah. To gain the victory in a battle, he vowed to sacrifice to God whatever would come out of his house first at his return – which happened to be his own daughter. The dramatic scene was very popular in 17th and 18th century art. Its execution is reminiscent of the works of Giovanni Battista Pittoni (1687–1767).
Vermeulen belongs to a number of Haarlem painters, who, in accordance to Calvinist ideas, cultivated vanitas still lifes in particular. Their choice of requisites often focussed on books, weaponry or instruments, which were supposed to admonish the viewer to self-reflection. The books, for example, allude to the positively connoted concept of scholarliness but also caution against arrogance.
Vermeulen belongs to a number of Haarlem painters, who, in accordance to Calvinist ideas, cultivated vanitas still lifes in particular. Their choice of requisites often focussed on books, weaponry or instruments, which were supposed to admonish the viewer to self-reflection. The books, for example, allude to the positively connoted concept of scholarliness but also caution against arrogance.
Still Life with Dead Hare
The painting is one of 20 hunting still lifes of varying sizes that Weenix painted in the service of Johann Wilhelm II, Elector Palatine, for Bensberg Castle. The smaller formats, which include the one at hand, are characterized by a precise, delicate style, rendering the materiality of the portrayed objects in an almost tactile way. Hunting still lifes with dead hares are common in Weenix’s œuvre.
The Life of St. Sebastian
Franz Anton Weiß was the ancestor of a family of artists that was active for four generations. The oil sketch is a draft for the fresco (dated 1764) of the nave of St. Sebastian’s chapel in Wertach (Allgäu). Weiß created a detail-oriented portrayal of the legend of the church’s patron saint, to which he added uncommon aspects like the battle and the feast on the painting’s longitudinal sides.
Allegory of the House von Rodt
The sketch likely originated in the context of a ceiling fresco. It features a wealth of allegorical figures revolving around the motif of clerical and secular power under the influence of divine providence. Along with the crest in the foreground, they most likely allude to the noble House von Rodt, whose members held high secular and military positions.
Still Life with Fruit, Goldfinch and Butterfly
The highly symbolic painting is one of a pair of two still lifes with fruit and small animals that were composed as companion pieces (the counterpart is in private property). The snail and the rotting fruit are symbols of time and vanitas, while the fly stands for sin, the goldfinch for the Passion of Christ and the caterpillar and the butterfly for death and resurrection.
Christ and the Samaritan Woman
The style of this composition – based on a work by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682–1754) – suggests that it was painted later than “Christ Strengthened by Angels” (inv. no. 6147), which belongs to the same eight-part series. In this cycle of paintings, Winck experimented with diverse sketching styles – a testament to his evolution as a painter at that time.
Christ Strengthened by Angels
The oil sketch belongs to an eight-part series depicting scenes of the life of Christ. All of these paintings are preserved within the collections of the Museums of the Town of Augsburg. The use of sheet iron as support contradicts the spontaneous character of an oil sketch somewhat, as it took a long time for the paint to dry on this surface. This fact emphasizes the painting’s role as a valued collectors’ piece.
The Execution of St. Catherine
From 1769, Winck was Electoral court painter in Munich. His work for numerous churches in Upper Bavaria in the 1770s marks the peak of his career. His sketch for the fresco of the nave of the church in Thankirchen near Dietramszell foregoes pronounced perspective foreshortening and illusionist effects, making it a characteristic work of the late 18th century.
The Four Continents Worship Our Lady of Sorrows as Donator of the Rosary
The œuvre of Wolcker, who was a student of Johann Georg Bergmüller, consists mainly of altarpieces and frescoes. With only a few changes, he executed the scene shown in this sketch – the donation of the rosary to the continents by St. Mary with St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena as her intermediaries – in the nave of the parish church of “Mariä Himmelfahrt” in Oberostendorf (Eastern Allgäu).
In 1760/61, Januarius Zick became court painter of the Electorate of Trier and painted several important frescoes in the late 18th century. The late work shown here is not a historical depiction of the plague, but rather a sinister allegory of memento mori. Surrounded by crumbling architecture in a stage like scenery, the personification of death is the only one still standing upright.
The Blinding of Samson
According to the Book of Judges (16:1–22), Samson was chosen by God and supposed to be invincible as long as he did not cut his hair. However, betrayed by his lover Delilah, the Philistines captured and blinded him. This early work by Zick was greatly influenced by Rembrandt’s homonymous painting from 1636 at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.
The Discovery of the Three Springs of Wessobrunn
The oil sketch for the ceiling fresco of the St. Eustace chapel in the pilgrimage church of Andechs portrays the founding legend of the monastery of Wessobrunn: While hunting, Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria, and his companions Wesso and Torro discovered three springs, where subsequently the monastery was built. The chapel was endowed by the alleged descendants of Torro, the family of Toerring-Seefeld.
Der aus Leiden stammende und später in Den Haag ansässige Maler Jan van Goyen lernte u.a. beim berühmten Landschaftsmaler Esaias van de Velde I. in Haarlem. Van Goyen hinterließ ein umfangreiches Werk von Landschaftsgemälden, darunter Winterbilder, Stadtansichten und vor allem Seestücke. Das vorliegende Gemälde ist mit seiner fein abgestuften Farbigkeit ein typisches Spätwerk des Künstlers.