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March 200
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Coburg Acquires Major Collection of Old Masters

   TWIG - The art museum in the medieval castle of Coburg (Veste Coburg, Bavaria) has acquired 42 paintings by some of the leading artists of Reformation-era Germany. Purchased from industrialist Georg Schäfer of Schweinfurt, the works represent the most important private collection of its kind in the country, museum officials announced Wednesday (February 12). The paintings have been in the Coburg museum on loan since 1986.

All works in the collection date from between 1480 and 1560, and most are by master artists from Augsburg, Nuremberg and Munich. Among the highlights are an altarpiece by Mathis Gothardt Nithardt, commonly known as Grünewald, and six works by Lucas Cranach the Elder, including a portrait of religious reformer Martin Luther and his wife, Katharina Bora. An image of the Madonna and child attributed to Albrecht Dürer and a "Madonna" by Hans Holbein the Elder were also included in the sale.

"In its complexity and density the collection can be said to be of national significance," said Klaus Weschenfelder, director of the Coburg art collections. Six of the paintings were donated to the museum. Funding to acquire the rest was provided by the city of Coburg and state and regional foundations. The Veste Coburg, one of the largest fortresses ever built to protect the Holy Roman Empire, possesses an extensive collection of German art from the Middle Ages and Reformation, a large museum for glass and ceramics and one of the world’s most important collections of historic prints and drawings. More information about the collections can be found here.


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