The Beauty of The Middle Ages

The exhibition presents more than 300 works of art from the 10th to the 16th century. Gold, silver, precious stones and similar materials have exercised a great fascination for thousands of years, as symbols of the eternal, holy and godly, and an expression of power and wealth. Abt Suger expressed it in written form in the first decades of the twelfth century. The medieval Westphalian region between Rhine, Ruhr and Weser and the centres of secular and spiritual power and the Hanseatic cities express a rich culture of panel paintings, sculptures, book illuminations, gold-gilt statuettes, crosses, chalices, caskets and cloak clasps. The basis of these medieval displays of splendor was the idea of an exchange of gifts between believers and God. The donators hoped for forgiveness for their sins and eternal salvation as reward for the donation. Other themes include the symbolism of gold, the political and ceremonial functions of the art and the origin of the treasurers.