16th Century

“Zwingli’s Weapons”

Description The Reformer Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531) died in the battle of Kappel on 11 October 1531. A “Schnellgericht” (court) declared him as a heretic while he was still lying on t...

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The Situation of the Church in England

Description The situation of the English protestants deteriorated rapidly after the accession of Mary Tudor in 1553. „Bloody Mary“ repealed the antipapal laws of her predecessors, appoi...

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Andreas Bodenstein, called Karlstadt

Description The print commemorative of Karlstadt’s death depicts the reformer in a half-length portrait, looking to the right. He is shown bareheaded wearing a robe with an open band collar. ...

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The Pope as Antichrist

Desription The woodcut, which was coloured only later, shows Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia, 1431–1503, pope from 1492). With the flap closed he is shown wearing the full papal regalia wit...

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Catholic Self-Criticism – Apocalyptic Scene

Description In 1519, two years after Martin Luther posted his theses, Bishop Berthold Pürstinger of Chiemsee (1465–1543) revealed the abuses of the institution that he represented himsel...

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Hypocritical Monk as Wolf

Description The satirical woodcut with two flaps shows a monk in Benedictine habit. He wears a bag book on his left arm and points with his index finger to the open book in his right hand with the ...

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Clergymen as Wolves

Description Evangelical art often used the biblical image of the shepherd (Jesus Christ) and his sheep (believers). Analogically to the verbal criticism of the clergy, who, out of self-interest, tu...

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Portrait of Huldrych Zwingli

Description The Reformer, shown half-length in profile in front of a blue background, wears a black robe (Talar) with a reformer’s cap and holds a Latin bible in his hand. It is opened to the...

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The Castle Chapel of Gottorf Castle

Description The castle chapel of 1590 was always used as a church, despite the changing history of Gottorf Castle. Still today it is used by the Danish parish in Schleswig for their church services...

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Covered Cups from the Evangelical Reformed Denomination Emden

Description The East Frisian count Johann donated in 1584 two identical communion chalices to the deaconry of the “Huissittenden Armen” (Huissittende poor). The dedication to the deacon...

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Lutheran Communion Chalice

Description The chalice and the corresponding paten hail from the former castle chapel in Aurich and were donated by the East Frisian countess Catherine of Vasa, a daughter of King Gustav I. of Swe...

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Double Goblet, so-called “Lutherpokal”. Gift from John the Constant, Elector of Saxony (1468-1532) to Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Description The Historisches Museum Basel owns a set of drinking vessels made out of curled wood, which were common in Germany and Switzerland from the 13th century onwards. These cups, also known ...

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Christ as a Child as Conqueror of Death and Devil

Description This little panel shows the Lutheran doctrine of justification through Christ’s victory over the devil and death. Christ, who came into this world as an innocent child, stands tri...

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Christ Blesses the Children

Description The motif of the picture, the blessing of the children according to the Gospel of Marc (chapter 10, 14), was unknown before the Reformation. Lucas Cranach the Elder, who was acquainte...

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Allegory of the Naumburg Treaty of 1554

Description The large-sized painting, shaped like a winged altar and subdivided into a central middle board and smaller side depictions, is not only a presentation of the great Reformers Martin Lut...

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Zurich’s Oldest Portrait Glass Pane

Description It is no coincidence that the portrait of Heinrich Bullinger (1504–1575), the successor of Zwingli in Zurich, is found on Zurich’s oldest portrait glass pane. The typical Sw...

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Curiosity and Warning

Description A rich Renaissance architecture forms the frame and the stage for the illustration of an Old Testament scene on a stove tile from Winterthur: On the roof terrace of his castle King Davi...

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A Handwritten Trace of the Hebrew Teacher of Zwingli

Description In February 1516, Erasmus’ edition of the New Testament, entitled Novum Instrumentum, appeared form the printer Froben. It is in a double column typeset, Greek-Latin parallel ed...

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Zurich at the Time of the Reformation

Description Out of all the late-gothic altar panels showing the martyrdom of the three city saints from the Twelve Apostles Chapel in the Great Minster in Zurich, only the parts with the city view ...

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Portrait of Martin Luther

Description The portrait of Luther was developed by the Cranach-workshop like a trademark and was spread with a constant standard and high recognition value. Even in post-Reformation times the icon...

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Handwritten Letter from Martin Luther to the Mayor and City Council of Coburg

Description Nine years after his six-month stay at the Veste Coburg in 1530, Luther appealed with this letter to the mayor and city council of Coburg in support of his acquaintance, minister Johann...

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Notebook of John the Constant with Sermon Notes in His Own Hand

Description According to an entry in the Coburg inventory this little book is a record of a Luther sermon which Vicky, the oldest daughter of Prince Albert of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha and Queen Vict...

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Haycart

Description In this satirical painting the church is a major focus of critique. The conflict about the hay on this wagon is a reflection of the avarice that results in argument, misery, death and d...

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Ex-dono of Christoph von Carlowitz to Philipp Melanchthon

Description A humanist and moderate Protestant, Christoph von Carlowitz (Karlewitz, Carlebitzius, 1507–1574), was an ardent advocate of religious reconciliation. A student of Mosellanus, who ...

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Monkeys Attacking the Symbols of the Catholic Church

Description The protagonists of this unusual satirical scene are a group of monkeys attacking symbols of the Catholic religion, including a crucifix and a chalice. The monkey in the pulpit evokes a...

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New Canticle Containing the Discourse of the Lyon War and of the Assistance God has Granted his Church…

Description In April 1562, during the early months of the first war of religion in France, the Protestants of Lyon took control of their city, the country’s second largest. It remained under ...

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De Tristibus Galliae

Description Transcribed onto paper and illustrated with drawings, De tristibus galliae, a Latin poem in 2722 verses, recounts the turmoil of the French Wars of Religion. The Huguenots are pict...

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Hebrew Dictionary

Description In his Hebrew dictionary, Forster, a Lutheran, claimed on the basis of his interpretation of the Hebrew word `Asah that the Eucharist merely commemorates the sacrifice of Christ but doe...

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"Halbtalerklippe" (untrimmed coin) of the City of Strasbourg for the Centenary of the Reformation

Description Medals commemorating the Reformation were common practice since the first secular celebrations of Luther’s theses. The Humanist city of Strasbourg was amongst the cities that turn...

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Plate Representing the Whore of Babylon

Description This plate was produced in Limoges, a city that specialised in the high-quality production of enamelled objects from the middle of the 12th century onwards. The inscription “COVRT...

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Portrait of Ulrich Zwingli

Description This portrait of Ulrich Zwingli in profile, probably by Rudolf Wyssenbach, was modelled after Hans Asper’s well-known depiction of 1531/1532. Rudolf Wyssenbach’s early works...

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The True Insurgents

Description The gospel had been a topic for discussion in Zürich since 1522, not only for theologians, but for people of all social classes and the beginning of the reformation may be seen as ...

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English Bible Printed in Zürich

Description Six English prints were published in Zürich during the reign of Edward VI. Among these was an entire Bible, printed in 1550 by Christoph Froschauer. It is not in fact the Matthew B...

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Letter from Lady Jane Gray to Heinrich Bullinger

Description Three of Lady Jane Grey’s letters to Heinrich Bullinger still exist. The young lady, heiress to the English throne, thanks the Swiss reformer for his spiritual teaching. A ye...

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Satirical Medal

Description Medals were a popular propaganda medium during the religious conflicts in the 16th century. The biceps series was particularly common. Our example depicts a double headed Pope-Devil on ...

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Martin Luther (1483-1546), D M Luther an einen guten freund

Description This autograph manuscript is a draft of the first part of one of Martin Luther’s last writings, the Kurtz bekentnis D. Mart. Luthers, vom heiligen Sacrament (Brief Confe...

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Martin Luther on his Deathbed

Description This ‘Ware Contrafactur Herrn Doctoris Martini Lutheri’ (True likeness of Dr Martin Luther) shows Martin Luther wearing a white gown on his deathbed, in a homely interior wi...

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Dives and Lazarus as a Satire on the Catholic Church

Description The parable of Dives and Lazarus from Luke 16 is represented here as a virulent anti-Catholic satire, with Dives as the Pope, kissing a nun in the centre beside an inebriated cardinal a...

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Medal of Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon

By the time this medal was created, medals had been used in Italy for over a century as a way of circulating the images of important individuals, including popes. In the sixteenth century the pract...

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Johannes Bugenhagen

Description The Wittenberg reformer is shown in a head-and-shoulders portrait, looking to the right. He is depicted bareheaded, over his shirt and doublet he wears a fur-trimmed coat, in his hands ...

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