Germanisches Museum, Nürnberg
September 08, 2009
From Prague we headed back to Franconia, to see the early Rembrandts at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg. Before heading to the museum, we took a brief tour of the Altstadt, walking past St. Lorenz, across the Fleischbrücke to the Hauptmarkt, where we admired the Frauenkirche and the Schöner Brunnen. We made our way to the Rathaus, and sat outside St. Sebald, then wandered up to the Albrecht-Dürer-Haus. After a very pleasant lunch at the Albrecht-Dürer-Stube, a place completely decorated with embroidered linen and framed Dürer prints, we went to the museum itself, which turned out to be undergoing renovations. Thus, only one Rembrandt was on display, the Self-Portrait (c. 1629), a copy of which exists in Den Haag.
In this panel (38 x 31 cm) Rembrandt is in his early twenties, wearing a gorget, the left side of his face in shadow. He gazes directly at the viewer, looking quite young but dignified. The painting was thought to be a workshop copy of the painting in Den Haag, but the opposite turns out to be the case, and the Nürnberg painting is the original.
We took a look at a few Dürer paintings, the most interesting of which may be the Portrait of Michael Wolgemut, 1516. Dürer was apprenticed to the painter and printmaker Wolgemut from 1486 to 1489. The museum also has an impressive collection of musical instruments, and it was fun to see their glass harmonica up close.
We were drawn to the special exhibit at Spielzeugsammlung of the Germanisches Museum which is housed in a different building than the main museum. At the moment their exhibition entitled "Der Allererste Struwwelpeter" celebrates the 200th birthday of Heinrich Hoffmann, the author of Der Stuwwelpeter. The annex is worth going to if one has an interest in dollhouses or paper theaters. The latter was more interesting to us, some of the paper theaters seemed to be designs of opera productions.