Jump to main area
All State Museums in Schleswig-HolsteinAll State Museums in SH

Renaissance and Baroque

From 1530, the west castle wing was erected, back then one of the most noteworthy renaissance buildings in North Europe. Here, the ground floor exhibits paintings, tapestries, furniture and precious table devices, providing an impression of the renaissance living environment.

Lucas Cranach senior’s paintings and his workshop form a focus. They provide an equally valuable replacement for the former Gottorf Cranach Collection which was taken to Copenhagen during the 18th century alongside the entire furnishing of the palace. 

In addition to Cranach’s famous portraits of Luther and Melanchthon, well-known pictures such as “Christ blesses the children”, incorporating new reformation picture ideas can be found here. The awakening enthusiasm for scenes from antique stories and myths is shown by the sensitive depiction of Lucretia’s suicide, created by Cranach junior for an aristocratic client.

A Gutenberg bible from 1452/54, displayed in the so-called ecclesiastical treasury, is a special gem. The book was printed in Mainz in Johannes Gutenberg’s workshop (at around 1400 – 1468). The Gutenberg bible is recognised as the first book worldwide printed using lead cast letters. This revolutionised book printing. Just a few decades later, this new technique was used to produce the “Schleswig missals” (in 1486), which was then the first book printed in the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein and the second book printed in Denmark. 

Despite their high circulation for terms back then of some 300, both incunables can only now be found in small numbers. The fact that both these extremely rare early prints enrich the museum’s collection is due to the North Church and the Evangelical Lutheran church community Toestrup, who provide them as a permanent loan.

17th century: Gottorf becomes a cultural centre with European ranking

Under Duke Friedrich III, Gottorf developed to become a cultural centre with European ranking during the 17th century. The elaborate stucco ceilings which coin the Baroque sequence of rooms in the upper storey of the north wing bear witness to the former magnificent castle decoration.

Paintings, sculptures, tapestries and precious furniture are shown here. Paintings from Dutch and North German artists are focused upon as collected back then at the ducal court.

An entire room is dedicated to Jürgen Ovens (1623-1678), Friedrich III’s court painter. Ovens, who came from Tönning auf Eiderstedt, was trained in The Netherlands in Rembrandt’s vicinity.  

Schleswig-Holstein State Museums
Scroll up