Forthcoming exhibitions

Hans Baldung Grien

Great exhibition under the patronage of the State of Baden-Württenberg

30 November 2019 – 8 March 2020



Hans Baldung, also called Grien (1484/85–1545), ranks among the most original artists of the 16th century. Living in a time of radical upheaval characterised by the Protestant Reformation with its iconoclasm and the Great Peasants’ Revolt, he created novel and often eccentric works. His highly expressive paintings, virtuoso drawings and powerful woodcuts remain fascinating to this day. Never satisfied with common achievements, he was always in search of original forms of expression and structured his creative work along two axes: sacred art on the one hand (imposing retables, luminous stained-glass windows and intimate devotional pictures), and profane works on the other (expressive portraits, depictions of contemporary or ancient scenes, enigmatic paintings for humanistic patrons, and suggestive nudes, including his famous representations of the Fall and graphic images of witches).


Hans Baldung, who was probably born in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Swabia, spent most of his life in Strasburg but also sojourned in Nuremberg, working together with Albrecht Dürer, and in Freiburg, where he created the sumptuous retable that still adorns the minster. The great exhibition sponsored by the state of Baden-Württemberg will present Baldung’s work in all its diversity. Sixty years after the 1959 retrospective – also held at the Kunsthalle, the new exhibition provides the perfect opportunity to rediscover this outstanding artist. It renders the chronology of his works and highlights various aspects of his output in order to trace the evolution of his style, from late Gothic to Renaissance to a very personal and unmistakable Mannerism. Moreover, the confrontation of works by Hans Baldung with a selection of works by contemporary masters such as Albrecht Dürer and Lucas Cranach underscores how much the artist remains important still today.


The masterworks from the Karlsruhe collection are complemented by some 200 loans from museums in London, Paris, Prague, Madrid, Vienna, Basel, New York, Florence, Warsaw and Copenhagen. A parallel exhibition held at the Junge Kunsthalle helps children and youth to learn about Baldung through playing. Last but not least, the project also includes events related to the artist that will take place in Freiburg (Augustinermuseum and choir of the minster) and Strasburg (Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame).






Hans Baldung Grien
Der Tod und die Frau, um 1520/25
Bilddaten gemeinfrei – Kunstmuseum Basel
Hans Baldung Grien
Maria mit Kind und Papageien, 1533
© Germanisches Nationalmuseum
Foto: Dirk Meßberger