Judith goes exploring (xx)

05 May

I was last in Innsbruck, so staying in the region takes me …

Day 135:   … about 2 hours to the capital of Bavaria – Munich.   Which has multiple paintings of Judith to peruse.  But first, a place to stay.  Anna Hotel is a 5 min walk from the Hauptbahnhof – and adjacent to public transit as well as steps to Old Town Munich.

I think I have time for the one museum that is farthest away but has the smallest collection.  Reached by U bahn 4 from Karlsplatz to Prinzregentenplatz,  Villa Stuck was the home of artist Franz von Stuck.  The house, interior and furniture was designed by von Stuck as a total work of art, called Gesamtkunstwerk – the same approach taken by William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright.  I am hoping to find there the Judith painted by von Stuck– although it is listed as belonging to the Collection of Otto Heilmann – the owner of the construction company commissioned to build the project.  Where would Otto put it?

Mon – closed;  Tues-Sun, 11 am – 6 pm

Day 136:  A healthy half hour walk through Old Town will get me to the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (unless I want to take the U bahn again).   Here resides the glorious marble sculpture of Judith by Conrad Meit, among more than forty rooms of the art historical collection, featuring sculpture and collections of courtly culture.  And in the folklore collection, one of my favorites:  nativity scenes.

Mon – closed;   Tues-Sun: 10 am – 5 pm;   Thurs:  10 am – 8 pm

Day 137:    I need to hit two museums today, both accessible by the same Tram 27:    Alte Pinakothek (14th to the 19th century paintings) and Neue Pinakothek (19th century paintings).   Along with the Pinakothek der Moderne, these three galleries are part of Munich’s “Kunstareal” (the art area).   Alte Pinakothek was commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1826 to house the Wittelsbach collection, and galleries were designed to display Rubens’s “Last Judgment” (1617) – one of the largest canvasses ever painted.   I am here to see two Judith’s:  Sellari among the Italian masters and Vouet among the smaller French collection.  If I can find them among all the other astounding canvases.

Mon – closed;   Tues;  10 am – 8 pm;   Wed-Sun: 10 am – 6 pm

And around the corner is the Neue Pinakothek,   Another museum built by King Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1853, but destroyed in WWII and renewly opened in 1981.   I am here to visit the stately Judith by Riedel.    But ooh, the distractions!  Almost every noteworthy artist of the time – including French impressionists and the third version of Sunflowers (1888) by Vincent van Gogh (not the overly commercialized fourth version – but close).

Tues – closed;   Wed;  10 am – 8 pm;   Thurs-Mon: 10 am – 6 pm

Day 138:   Just over an hour on Germany’s high-speed (ICE) train will get me to Nuremberg, to give me a day at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum.   Walk 10 minutes or take the subway to Germany’s largest museum of cultural history, with current overall holdings of about 1.2 million objects.   Among them is a stained glass rondell of Judith by an unknown artist and Hans Baldung Grien’s depiction of Judith.   With seven works of Albrecht Dürer.

Mon – closed;   Tues-Sun: 10 am – 6 pm;   Wed 10 am – 9 pm 

This museum visit will also allow me to see Way of Human Rights (Straße der Menschenrechte) – a monumental outdoor sculpture on the street between the new and old buildings of the lmuseum, connecting Kornmarkt street and the medieval city wall.   I should also walk 15 minutes to the house in which Albrecht Dürer lived and worked, giving a view of life in the house and the way Dürer worked.    Then flop near the station at Hotel Marienbad.

Day 139:   Stuttgart – home of German engineering.  And Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.   It is actually two buildings:  Alte Staatsgalerie (14th to 20th century) and Neue Staatsgalerie (20th century modern).  I suspect that Judith by Lucas Cranach the Elder is not in the latter building.   But the controversial architecture does hold art from Dalí, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, Klee, Chagall and Kandinsky.

Mon – closed;    Wed, Fri, Sat-Sun: 10 am – 6 pm;   Tues-Thurs:  10 am – 8 pm

In about 40 minutes, I can be in Heidelberg and lay my weariness in the Hotel Villa Marstall on the Neckar river.

Day 140:   This could be tricky.  I can take Bus #32 or #33 to the University of Heidelberg to see Judith on the pages of two books:  a German Bible from the studio of Diebolt Lauber and Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration  by Julius Klinger.  I am pretty sure they are not on the shelf.  I might ask the reference librarian.

But even if it is a dead end for me, Heidelberg has the baroque charm of narrow streets, picturesque houses and world-famous Schloss (castle ruins) because it was almost completely spared during WWII bombings which destroyed many of Germany’s larger cities.  So once I have left the library, the Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway runs up to the castle on the Königstuhl hillside.  And there I can work on my perspective.

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Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Exploring


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