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The Kunstkammer Würth or historical 'cabinet of art', has been on display in the Bode-Museum since the museum reopened in 2006. The Kunstkammer, features some 30 works from the private collection of businessman, art collector, and patron of the arts, Reinhold Würth. As such, it is an ideal accompaniment to the museum's own holdings.
Those artworks are currently on display in south Germany, in the exhibition 'Miraculous Silver – The V&A at Kunstkammer Würth'. Until their return in January 2016, a seminal work in the canon of early German painting held in the Würth Collection will go on temporary display in the Bode-Museum: The Crucifixion by the Master of Meßkirch. In this special, temporary display, it can be seen alongside other stylistically and thematically related works from the Staatliche Museen's collection of late Gothic and early Renaissance works from the southern German lands.
In the early years of the Reformation, the veneration of religious images increasingly fell into bad repute as a sign of idolatry and led, in many regions, to the Protestant iconoclasm. During this same time, painters, sculptors, and printmakers in the southern German lands created works of art of a startling immediacy that had never been seen before. Their works featured complex spatial planes, flowing drapery presented in motion, distortions, and stark colour contrasts – all intended to stir the viewer emotionally. They aroused the viewer's sense of participation in the scene and lent new accents to the religious themes which in many cases already boasted a centuries-old visual tradition in art.
A key figure in this rising expressivity is an anonymous artist best known for the main altar of the parish church St. Martin in Meßkirch. Scholars still do not know where the artist worked, but his painting bears clear stylistic references to the painting of Nuremberg and of Ulm from the early 16th century. His monumental Crucifixion is now on loan from the Würth Collection at the Bode-Museum until January 2016.