Judith out and about: Munich day 1

06 May

A lovely train ride north from Verona brings me to Munich and more art devoted to Judith. I started at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum (Bavarian National Museum) because, well, it is one of the most important museums of decorative arts in Europe.  In addition, it is one of the largest art museums in Germany – although frankly I was focused and skipped a few centuries.

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Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, Germany


The goal was Conrad Meit’s diminutive Judith, discussed in Judith is exposed.  In addition to being petite, she is a study in contrasts – virtuous and voluptuous, well-coiffed and unclothed, feminine pose and ferocious sword, demote and deadly.  Yes, Meit captured a lot of meaning in a relatively small statuette.

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Conrad Meit (1480-1550), “Judith,” 1510-15,, Painted marble, height: 30 cm, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, Germany


The second stop for the day was Villa Stuck.  I knew I was taking a chance that “Judith and Holofernes” (1927) would not be in the house … and it was not.  But the visit to this museum was far from a waste of my time because the vision of Franz von Stuck (1863-1928) is fully on display.  Discussed in Judith and Lili, Von Stuck had a non-traditional perspective on art.  He co-founded the Munich Secession to transform ideas of what constitutes art and embarked on making art part of ordinary life – in everything from architecture to furniture.  Villa Stuck is the manifestation of this approach, in which you see Von Stuck/s art in the interior design and furnishings in addition to his paintings.

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Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany


So in the place of Judith, the Villa showcases one of Von Stuck’s first artworks to ignite attention to his erotic style: The Sin (Die Sünde), 1893.  In fact, it is placed over the infamous Sin Altar designed by Von Stuck – which is adorned by statuettes from antiquity and nautilus shells rather than items associated with sin.

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Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany

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Franz von Stuck (1863-1928), “The Sin,” 1893, oil on canvas, 90.2 x 53.3 cm, Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany


At least it’s not that attention whore, Salome.

For a scholarly video on The Sin (Die Sünde) that is also fairly provocative, visit Khan Academy: Symbolism & Art Nouveau – Stuck, The Sin.

And I almost forgot: there was a lovely exhibit about Hans Christiansen on the third floor.  He was also one of the proponents of German Jugendstil but his style was much lighter, his pallet much brighter and his subjects tended to focus on nature mores than heighten sexuality. At least that was the impression of this exhibit that also featured snippets about his successful family life.  No murderous heroines included.


Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Exploring



4 responses to “Judith out and about: Munich day 1

  1. artzchik87

    June 11, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Very very cool! One day when I visit Germany, I will stop here. Thanks for sharing this with us all! 🙂

    • judith2you

      June 12, 2017 at 9:00 am

      You are very welcome. I was fortunate to make a few museum visits of many that I have planned. I hope this post inspires you and helps you in making your own plans.

      • Michaela Snyder

        June 15, 2017 at 9:43 pm

        It has inspired me. It seems so strange yet to know there is another world, so to speak, over in Europe. I’m from the states and have traveled very little. Your photos and blog make the dream seem much closer, so thank you for that.


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