Caught between Riemenschneider and the Reformation: Peter Dell the Elder

October 15, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Peter Dell the Elder's life and works offer an interesting reflection of the upheavals during the time of the Reformation and the exhibition »Caught between Riemenschneider and the Reformation« provides pieces of art from all periods of his life. Paintings depicting Catholic and Reformatory iconographic programs are paired in presentation so the differing religious beliefs are fully and understandably visualised.

At the beginning of the 16th century Peter Dell was an apprentice with the workshop of sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider in Würzburg. Tracing his steps via his signed pieces of art he then was working close to the circle of Hans Leinberger in Landshut. Moving away from this Catholic area he went to work at the court of Henry IV the Pious, Duke of Saxony, creating depictions of reformatory thinking at the beginning of the 1530s. Among those are the »Allegory on Faith«, dated from 1534, which is with the Germanische Nationalmuseum Nuremberg today, or the »Allegory on Law and Grace«, dated from 1531, which has survived in three copies.

In 1534 Peter Dell returned from Freiberg to Würzburg. He worked on sepulchral monuments and sculptures in different formats, managing to acquire orders from both Roman Catholics and Protestants. Peter Dell's workshop established itself as a successful venture because of its versatility and flexibility. His son, Peter Dell the Younger, took over from his father after his death in 1552.

The many pieces of art of all sizes and materials in this exhibition convincingly demonstrate the wide-ranging spectrum of sculpting in the first half of the 16th century. The opportunity of comparing his works with those of his teacher Tilman Riemenschneider is unique to the Museum für Franken and turns this exhibition into a once in a lifetime experience.

The extensive accompanying programme which also caters to families brings the exhibition's topic to life. The presentations as well as analog and digital media will have the visitors immerse themselves in the Reformation era, the differing beliefs and how they led to the schism.

Opening Hours

Museum für Franken
Staatliches Museum für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte

1st April to 31st October
10:00 - 17:00
1st November to 31st March
10:00 - 16:00
Closed on Mondays
Opening hours on public holidays

Department of City History in the Fürstenbaumuseum
16th March to 31st October
10:00 - 17:00
1st November to 15th March
Closed on Mondays


Museum für Franken
Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte

Festung Marienberg
Oberer Burgweg
97082 Würzburg

Telephone +49 (0)931-20594 0
Telefax     +49 (0)931-20594 56

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