Northern Renaissance masterpieces on long term loan from a private collection go on display at the Holburne in a new gallery created especially for them
The Holburne Museum is excited to announce the opening of a new display of masterpieces of Northern Renaissance painting, on loan for twenty years from the Estate of Bruno Schroder, who died in 2019.
Such is the importance of the long loan of these works that a new gallery has been created from what was the Director’s office, especially to accommodate them.
Though small, this collection consists of paintings of international standing, including major works by artists such as Lucas Cranach the Elder, Hans Holbein the Elder and Ulrich Apt. Perhaps the most important painting of the group is Hans Burgkmeier’s 1498 portrait of Jakob Fugger and his bride Sybilla Artzt (TOP). Known as Fugger the Rich, Jakob Fugger was an Augsburg merchant and banker who was the major financial force behind the Habsburg dynasty.
As well as the nine important paintings, the display includes a rare complete set of Albrecht Dürer’s sixteen engravings illustrating Christ’s Passion.
The works are all on loan from the Estate of late British banker Bruno Schroder. The collection was assembled by Mr Schroder’s forebears in the 1910s and 1920s. The loan to the Holburne has been agreed for twenty years, adding an important new dimension to the collection of one of the most respected regional art museums in the country.
Though small, the collection is recognised as being of international importance and of the highest quality. For example, the collection includes one of three versions of Ulrich Apt’s 1521 portrait of Lorenz Kraffter (the son of an emigré Scotsman in Augsburg) and his wife Honesta Merz. The other versions reside in the Metropolitan
Museum of Art, New York, and the Royal Collection and, when the three were brought together a few years ago, the Schroder version was widely considered the finest.
Holburne Director Chris Stephens says: ‘For a long time the Holburne has been recognised as one of the finest collections of European fine and decorative art in the UK outside London. I am proud and delighted to be able to enhance our offer to our visitors by extending the range of art on display with the addition of these extraordinary paintings. It is hard to say how beautiful and of what high quality these pictures are. We are deeply grateful to the Schroder family for this opportunity.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Holburne Museum’s mission statement is ‘Changing Lives Through Art’, signalling its commitment to opening up the enjoyment of art to people of all ages and from every walk of life. The Holburne was founded in 1882 with the gift of Sir William Holburne’s collection of 16th- and 17th-century Italian and Dutch paintings, silver, sculpture, furniture, porcelain and diverse objets d’art of national and international significance. That founding gift has been augmented with a collection of 18th-century paintings by such artists as Gainsborough, Lawrence, Ramsay, Stubbs and Zoffany. Set within the historic Sydney Pleasure Gardens, the Museum reopened in May 2011 after ambitious renovations and with a new, award-winning extension by Eric Parry Architects. The Holburne has since secured a national reputation as an outstanding museum which holds critically acclaimed exhibitions. Its programme of exhibitions, commissions and events sets out to bring to Bath great art of all periods and from around the world, seeking to set the art of the past in dialogue with contemporary practice in exciting and dynamic new ways.
Marriage Portrait of Jakob Fugger and Sybilla Artzt. Thoman or Hans Burgkmeier, 1498 © Schroder collection