Presumed mid-17th century; Oil on wood. Martin Luther took a comparatively positive view of the significance of pictorial decorations in churches: "images, bells, Eucharistic vestments, church ornaments, altar lights, and the like I regard as things indifferent. (...) I have no sympathy with the iconoclasts" (Luther, 1528). Nuremberg was the first free German imperial city to turn firmly to the Lutheran form of Protestantism, in March 1526 after the Nuremberg religious debates, and there was little destruction of church décor here. Among this auspicious environment, the genre of the "confessional picture" developed in the Franconian region during the mid-16th century, as a form of narrative Protestant graphic art. This is an especially fine and interesting example of the type, with remarkable portraits of the two reformers Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon, along with a large number of scenic images.


  • Title: Confessional Painting
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date: ca. 1650/ 1660
  • Provenance: Kunstsammlungen der Stadt Nürnberg
  • Type: Painting

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