The National Museum in Warsaw (NMW) and the Art Centre Basel (ACB) jointly created a travelling exhibition with 27 masterpieces from the medieval collection of the NMW.
The medieval art collection of the NMW is the most valuable collection of medieval art in Poland and one of the best museum collections in Europe, with masterworks of ecclesiastic art from the golden age of the Gothic period between the 12th and the early 16th century. This major exhibition presented a splendid and representative choice of 27 of the most important winged altarpieces, paintings and sculptures from the NMW collection.
Art Centre Basel’s exhibition concept, as well as the selection of the works was governed by the desire to reflect the quality of cultural activity all over the Polish kingdom at that time, with centres like Wroclaw [Breslau], Cracow [Krakau], and Gdansk [Danzig] at its head. Through the focus on Polish artists and the combination of different forms of expression, this exhibition allowed a new perception of the change in styles over the centuries: from the expressive style around 1350 to the upswing of idealisation around 1420 to the increasing realism common in the paintings of the 15th century to elements typical of the Renaissance at the beginning of the 16th century.
The exhibition featured a large set of complete winged altarpieces (diptychs, triptychs and other variations) that, although typical of the Middle Ages, are so rarely found in this superb quality and state of conservation in even the most acknowledged museums.
The scholarly exhibition catalogue introduced the readers to the art production of the various regions of the Polish Kingdom by means of four main essays. It is followed by large and detailed color images and descriptive articles of all objects on display in the exhibition. The catalogue was published in German, Portuguese and Dutch.
Pfäffikon (Switzerland), Seedamm Kulturzentrum (November 12, 2006 – February 04, 2007)
Lisbon (Portugal), Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (March 01, 2007 – June 17, 2007)
Vienna (Austria), Österreichische Galerie Belvedere (July 05, 2007 – September 16, 2007)
Utrecht (Netherlands), Museum Catharijneconvent (October 11, 2007 – January 06, 2008)
Guest curator: Malgorzata Kochanowska-Reiche (Middle Ages Department, National Museum in Warsaw, Poland)
Catalogue Editors: Suzanne Greub, Malgorzata Kochanowska-Reiche
The catalogue has been published by Hirmer Publishing, Munich 2006.