The Gothic Revolution

This exhibition marks the Millennium of the foundation of Strasbourg Cathedral and the arrival of the Gothic style in Strasbourg in the early 13th century. Strasbourg was then projected to the forefront of the artistic scene. The exhibition brings together works from European public and private collections that reflect this artistic upheaval – sculpture, stained glass, metalwork, manuscript illuminations and other works. The name Gothic originates from later periods, when this style was not appreciated anymore. Gothic became popular in the course of the nineteenth century however in the romantic and identity quest of the (new) nation states. The building of the south transept of the cathedral of Strasbourg was the earliest expression of the new style in German lands. The sculptural works accompanying it, particularly the statues of the Church, the Synagogue and the Pillar of Angels, are among the most famous masterpieces of medieval Western art. The statuary of Strasbourg cathedral displays the influence of the cathedrals of Chartres and Sens. It was soon imitated at Bamberg Cathedral and echoes of it can even be found in the stained glass of St. Elizabeth in Marburg.