From Dürer to Rubens The Old Masters

The Kunsthalle Bremen’s painting collection has always had the character of chamber music – the tone has not been set by large Baroque representational art, but by landscapes, seascapes, portraits, and still-lifes that reflect the lifestyle of this Protestant commercial city.

The collection originated with donations and bequests by the founders of the Kunstverein. The Madonna with Child by Masolino entered the collection in 1832. This highlight of early Renaissance painting contrasts with the Dürer collection from Hieronymus Klugkist, which includes two wings of an altar with depictions of Saint Onuphrius and John the Baptist in addition to drawings and prints.

One focus of the Old Masters collection is seventeenth century Netherlandish painting with major works such as The Battle of Constantine and Maxentius by Rembrandt’s teacher Pieter Lastman, the early Village Landscape by Jan van Goyen, and The Tric-Trac Players by Gerard Terborch. This contrasts with distinctive Flemish Baroque masterpieces such as Anthony van Dyck’s portrait of Count Palatinate Wolfgang Wilhelm and Noli me Tangere, a joint work by Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel the Younger. Seventeenth-century French court painting is represented by the large family portrait by Nicolas Largillière and a sensual female nude by John Baptiste Deshayes among others. Baroque paintingsare complemented by a rich selection of Italian and Austrian paintings and oil studies.