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Introduction

With 200,000 visitors each year, the Musée Unterlinden ranks second in attendance among regional fine art museums in France. Visitors arrive from around the world to admire Grünewald’s crowning achievement, the Isenheim Altarpiece. They meander through the medieval cloister to explore the museum’s collections of paintings, sculptures and other works of art from the 12th to the 16th century, decorative art objects, folk art and traditions, modern art and archaeological artefacts.

 

A unique museum setting with prestigious collections

Housed in a former convent dating back to the 13th century, the Musée Unterlinden displays a remarkable group of paintings and sculptures from the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It possesses one of the greatest works of Western art: the Isenheim Altarpiece, executed between 1512 and 1516 by Nicolaus of Haguenau and Grünewald.  The museum’s collection of decorative art objects includes silver and gold treasures as well as an exceptional group of hunting and military weapons. Its archaeology section offers a nearly complete overview of the early development of human society, with objects from everyday life (Bergheim mosaic, 3rd century AD) or funerary contexts (gold jewellery from a princely sepulchre). The museum’s modern art collection includes works by major artists, such as Monet, Guillaumin, Bonnard and Delaunay. Although it is especially strong in artists representing movements in abstract art after the Second World War (Magnelli, Poliakoff, Soulages, Bram van Velde, Vieira da Silva), the collection also features figurative works by artists such as Dubuffet and Picasso.

 

Introduction
 

Cloister of the former Dominican convent, 13th century, Musée Unterlinden, Colmar.

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