Around 1300, artistic developments occurred in Italy which led to a new understanding of painting. An enjoyment of narration, decorative details and the discovery of space and landscape led to a departure from Medieval Gothic austerity, particularly in Siena and Florence. By 1500, the traditional solemn paintings on gold-leaf ground had been transformed into the lifelike depictions of people and nature prevalent in Renaissance art. Showing works characteristic to the period, the exhibition documents the development of modern painting ranging from late Medieval panels by Guido da Siena from 1270/80 to paintings by Sandro Botticelli and Luca Signorelli from the late 15th century.
During this period of time, painting became disassociated from its traditional link to fresco cycles, manuscript illustrations and altarpieces; the figures escape a sacred celestial world beyond the bounds of space and time into the real life of the viewer. The approximately 40 works in the exhibition come from the Lindenau-Museum in Altenburg which holds the largest collection of early Italian paintings in Germany. They are a part of the excellent collection created by the scholar Bernhard August von Lindenau (1779–1854) who donated these artistic treasures to his home town of Altenburg in the 19th century in an effort to create awareness of the arts. From the Lindenau-Museum Altenburg
Image: Sandro Botticelli, Portrait of a young woman in profile, around 1475,
© Lindenau-Museum Altenburg