Masters Gallery @ Kunsthaus, Zurich

The Collection

Opened in 1910, the Kunsthaus Zürich is both museum and art gallery, and the perfect backdrop for its important collection of paintings and sculptures. Its extensive holdings of drawings and prints, photography and video art are exhibited in changing presentations. I was fortunate to spend a day late last year in its hallowed precincts and came away both awed and inspired!

The Kunsthaus Collection is constantly growing, particularly with the purchase of new art – so we are told at the reception that visitors can always expect to be surprised by new contemporary acquisitions. Smaller, temporary hangings with a thematic focus complement the collection presentation, creating space for encounters between works from different eras. When I was there, there were spotlights on Paul Gauguin, Chagall, The Hubert Looser Collection, Edvard Munch, etc and a day was just not enough!

Audio guides provided me with in-depth information on over 200 works  and also on the Kunsthaus architecture (another area of personal interest, but maybe another post, another time on that).

This is what you see on your right when you enter The Kunsthaus Zürich:

Auguste Rodin – The Gates of Hell – 1880 to 1917


Old Masters Gallery

Among the many themes, periods and galleries (another time, another post maybe?), particularly impressive was its ‘Old Masters’ Gallery. Medieval sculptures and the late Gothic panels of the Master of the Carnation open the collection. 17th century Netherlandish painting is comprehensively represented with outstanding works by Rembrandt, Rubens and Ruisdael. A small but significant group of paintings by Claude Lorrain, Domenichino and others evokes the concurrent artistic activities in Rome; the Venetian settecento is represented with works by equally fine artists, from Tiepolo to Guardi. More unusual are the paintings by Post Reformation artists in Zürich – from the portraitist Hans Aspers to John Henry Fuseli, eccentric genius and leading light of European Classicism.

Here is a sample collection, in the order that I viewed them and spent much time on, amazed at the versatility and the genius of the artists showcased.

Bartolomeo Montagna: Cross-Bearing Christ – 1515



Francesco Fiorentino: Mary with Jesus – 1460

Francesco Fracanzano: The Madonna and Peter – 1637



Sebastiano Ricci: Nessus abducts Deianeira – 1700

Mathias Stom: Christ and the samaritan woman – 1630


Mattia Preti: Christ and the adulteress – 1635


Orpheus and Eurydice from Pluto and Proserpina in the under far – 1635



Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini: Venus and satyr – 1720

Giovanni Antonio Canaletto: Receiving an ambassador before the Doge’s Palace – 1730


Niklaus Manuel: Key handover to Peter


Workshop of the ‘High Country Altars’ : Carrying Cross and Crucifixion – 1490



Hans Leu the Younger: John the Baptist and Mary with Infant Jesus – 1521

The Four Panels of Michael-Altars painted in 1490 – 1495 are depicted below:

‘Worship of the Christ by the Three Wise Men’ and ‘The Outpouring of the Spirit’



‘Transcending Lucifer’ and ‘The Last Judgement’

Another ‘Master’, Another Time – A plethora of Paintings Galore . . .



Continuing on the same theme, we encounter Berner the Younger with his ‘The Presentation of Christ’ circa 1495 depicted below:



Saint Onophrius by Master Darmsatdter circa 1460

Three great Paintings by Munich Master Marientafein follow:


The Annunciation / Birth of Christ – 1445

Christ on the Mount of Olives  – Entombment of Christ – 1445




And the beautifully framed painting by Joos van Cleve of Mary with Christ circa 1515 depicted as above.

Hans Memling: Saint Jerome – Late 14th Century


Master Morrison: Presentation of Christ before Pilate – 1510



Joos van Cleve: Lucretia – 1515

Adriaen Isenbrandt: The escape to Egypt – 1525


As I sign off this post with a theme perhaps appropriate for the festive Season of Christmas and New Year, here is a New year Resolution that I will blog more often in 2014 than I have in 2013!

Here’s wishing all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2014 – the office chose one of my photographs as part of the Heritage Series for their New Year card.

Greeting Final- Print