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Lucas Cranach d. Ä. (1472-1553), Adam und Eva (Der Sündenfall), um 1510/16 © Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek, München.

MUNICH.- The Old Testament unites. It is the foundation of Judaism and of Christianity, and its subjects and stories are familiar to Islam. In the West, a remarkable pictorial tradition related to the Old Testament has developed over the centuries. Some of the greatest examples of Old Testament scenes dating from the late Middle Ages and the Baroque period have been gathered for this exhibition from the outstanding holdings of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Bavarian State Painting Collections). 

Albrecht Altdorfer, Hans Burgkmair, Lucas Cranach, and Peter Paul Rubens, as well as Rembrandt, Claude Lorrain, Luca Giordano and numerous other artists, all explored themes from the Old Testament. Their works depict the creation and fall of man, an angry and merciful God, the captivity and deliverance of Israel from the Egypt of the Pharaohs, disasters of unimaginable proportions and the destruction of entire civilizations. They portray heroes and heroines who bravely confront their enemies, and they celebrate the wisdom and foresight of the prophets. The stories of Noah and Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael as the progenitors of Jews and Arabs, and of Moses, David, Solomon, Judith, Esther and Susanna come to life in the exhibition. 

The 37 exhibited works come from galleries in Aschaffenburg , Augsburg , Bamberg , Ottobeuren, and Schleißheim, as well as from the Alte Pinakothek. Loans from the museums and collections of the city of Augsburg , museums of the city of Bamberg and from the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum ( Bavarian National Museum ) in Munich are also included in the exhibition. Valuable prints from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library), the university library of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg (State Library Bamberg) supplement the selection of paintings. 

The entire Alte Pinakothek is included in the exhibition. An investigative tour leads visitors past 43 more of the gallery's paintings that depict Old Testament themes or motifs.

The exhibition is arranged in three parts:

1. Paintings from the late Middle Ages to the beginnings of the New Modern period (Room III, special exhibition space at the Klenze Portal)

2. Paintings of the Baroque period (Room I, special exhibition space at the Klenze Portal)

3. "Investigation" – A tour through the gallery on the first and ground floors, West Wing 

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Hans Baldung, called Grien, The Flood, 1516 © Bavarian State Painting Collections, State Gallery in the New Residence, on loan from the Museum of the City of Bamberg

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Hans Burgkmair d. Ä. (1473 - 1531) Die Geschichte der Esther, 1528© Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek, München.