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Northern Europe

1450 – 1650

About the
Collection

Saints, dragons, demons and kings – this collection features artworks produced in Northern Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries.

From small, intimate paintings that would have been displayed in private homes and chapels to large, dramatic altarpieces and emotive sculptures, these works highlight the importance of storytelling in art during his period. And new for 2024, see a rare masterpiece reunited as The Lamentation Altarpiece can be seen in its full glory for the first time in 30 years.

The display and research into this collection has been undertaken in association with the National Gallery and the National Gallery Curatorial Traineeship Programme, supported by Art Fund with the assistance of the Vivmar Foundation.

Religion was one of the most important features of life at this time and religious commissions accounted for much of the artistic output. The purpose of religious art was as an aid to worship, connecting the viewer with the story of Jesus’s life and suffering.

By the 16th century, mythological scenes and portraits became increasingly popular subjects, represented in our collection by works by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), Ambrosius Benson (c.1495-1550), Hans Besser (active 1537-58) and Barthel Bruyn (1493-1555).

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32 items in the collection
The Lamentation

The Lamentation

About 1500
Artist: The Master of Frankfurt
St John Nepomuk

St John Nepomuk

About 1770
Artist: Circle of Christian Jorhan the Elder
Portrait of Sigmund Kingsfelt

Portrait of Sigmund Kingsfelt

About 1530
Artist: Lucas Cranach the Elder
Portrait of a Gentleman

Portrait of a Gentleman

About 1525–45
Artist: Ambrosius Benson
Saint Apollonia, Saint Dorothea of Cappadocia, and a Female Saint

Saint Apollonia, Saint Dorothea of Cappadocia, and a Female Saint

About 1490
Artist: Unknown
Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Anne with the Infant Mary and the Christ Child, and Saint Barbara

Saint Mary Magdalen, Saint Anne with the Infant Mary and the Christ Child, and Saint Barbara

About 1490
Artist: Unknown
Saint Peter

Saint Peter

About 1440
Artist: The Master of the Polling Altarpiece
Saint Paul

Saint Paul

About 1440
Artist: The Master of the Polling Altarpiece
Noli me tangere or Christ in the Garden with Mary Magdalene

Noli me tangere or Christ in the Garden with Mary Magdalene

About 1500
Artist: Unknown
Ewer and basin

Ewer and basin

About 1580–1600
Artist: Maker Unknown (German or Netherlandish)
Saint Christopher carrying the Infant Christ Child

Saint Christopher carrying the Infant Christ Child

About 1519-27
Artist: Unknown
Saint Catherine

Saint Catherine

About 1519-27
Artist: Unknown
Saint George and the Dragon

Saint George and the Dragon

About 1519-27
Artist: Unknown
Saint Barbara

Saint Barbara

About 1519-27
Artist: Unknown
Christ Taking Leave of His Mother

Christ Taking Leave of His Mother

1506
Artist: Master of the Schwabach Altarpiece
A Female Saint

A Female Saint

About 1515–20
Artist: Tilman Riemenschneider
Portrait of Ludwig, Count Palatine, aged Ten

Portrait of Ludwig, Count Palatine, aged Ten

1549
Artist: Hans Besser
The Holy Kinship : attributed to the circle of the Master I.P.

The Holy Kinship : attributed to the circle of the Master I.P.

About 1520
Artist: Unknown
The Scene at Golgotha

The Scene at Golgotha

about 1470-1480
Artist: Strasbourg School
Vesperbild or Pietà

Vesperbild or Pietà

1410-20
Artist: Unknown
Lot and His Daughters

Lot and His Daughters

About 1530
Artist: Lucas Cranach the Elder
Venus and Cupid

Venus and Cupid

About 1525
Artist: Lucas Cranach the Elder
The Virgin and Child Crowned by Angels

The Virgin and Child Crowned by Angels

About 1470-75
Artist: Martin Schongauer
The Virgin and Child

The Virgin and Child

About 1518-50
Artist: Ambrosius Benson
St Anne Educating the Virgin

St Anne Educating the Virgin

Artist: Unknown
The Resurrection: Nottingham Alabaster Relief

The Resurrection: Nottingham Alabaster Relief

1400s
Artist: Unknown
God the Father and God The Son

God the Father and God The Son

About 1510-25
Artist: Hans Thomans
Hercules and Antaeus

Hercules and Antaeus

About 1530
Artist: Lucas Cranach the Elder
Death Portrait: North Netherlandish School

Death Portrait: North Netherlandish School

About 1530
Artist: Unknown
Portrait of Gerhard von Westerberg

Portrait of Gerhard von Westerberg

1524
Artist: Barthel Bruyn I
The Descent Into Limbo

The Descent Into Limbo

1547-1577
Artist: Pieter Huys
Hercules and Antaeus (PLAQUETTE)

Hercules and Antaeus (PLAQUETTE)

about 1488-9
Artist: Galeazzo Mondella, called Moderno