Day 63, Sunday, October 27, 2019
It was a beautiful sunny day and as we walked to the museum we passed the back of this church. I don’t know its name but found the ‘composition’ of all these shapes interesting. These old churches have been rebuilt and renovated repeatedly which results in a variety of styles. It is only one euro admission to the Bavarian National Museum on Sundays. The first rooms we enter have incredibly beautiful wooden sculptures, many of which still have their original painted colouring. The sculpture of Christ is from 1200, the Apostles are from 1505, and the woman with children is from1300. All the pieces are in amazing condition…it is hard to believe that they can be this old. These were two of my favourite pieces. The Mary on the left is from1300 and is larger than life size, while the second Virgin Mary is from 1500. Notice how her finger marks her place in the book she was reading when she is surprised by the angel. She is much smaller, probably about 30 ” tall. They were both exquisite. This dancing fellow from 1490, is exceptionally animated for such an early carving. The detail of the hands and drapery in the group of figures was so beautifully done. I have a heck of a time drawing drapery, and I can’t imagine how anyone can carve it so well.We don’t know what this skeleton astride the lion is about but it was interesting. Unfortunately most of the signage is only in German, There is a room full of armour… and another room with models of many towns. This is Munich in 1580 and we are able to recognize some of the buildings that are still present in modern day Munich! There are enormous detailed tapestries on the wall. We are amazed at the excellent condition of these tapestries. This small panel from the mid 1500’s is only about 6″ tall and is made with intricately inlaid wood. It is incredibly detailed. The child’s outfit is from 1547 and the dress from 1630. I wonder how these have survived all these years. Their tiny hand sewn stitches are visible and there is some wear and tear but they are really very well preserved. The next room is filled with amazing cabinets. I love boxes and cabinets with lots of drawers, and I have never seen anything like these. The coin cabinet of Maximillian I was made for his collection of gold coins. Each of the rows is a shallow drawer with fitted spaces for the coins. It is made of ivory, lapis lazuli, silver and enamel, so of course it must have its own storage case! The case on the right hinges open in the middle so the cabinet can be inserted for safe keeping.
This cabinet was built for the Electress Maria Ana. The ivory cabinet is gorgeous with lapis lazuli panels, but then I walk around to the other side and it is even more beautiful, with silver and enamelling. This cabinet has 176 drawers and secret compartments for storing precious objects! Wow! These huge globes were interesting..
and then we walked into the next room with these monumental wooden figures! Don’t you love the faces on these sandals? Downstairs there are several rooms that appear to be taverns. We aren’t sure, because all the signage here is German. I think the domed object in the corner is a stove to heat the room.Back upstairs, there is gallery of about 1,000 ivory objects and I wonder how many elephants died so these could be created? This ivory carving was one of fifty or so. The background sky is so thin that the light shines through it. The Rape of Proserpina on the left is carved in ivory, and the porcelain centrepiece on the right depicts Neptune being drawn by seahorse and tritons. They were both completed in the mid 1700’s.We visit a gallery with elaborate table settings.
I thought this tapestry was particularly colourful and beautiful. Notice the details in the close up of the pelican. Some of the musical instruments on display are rather strange. Bob is wondering how to play the double layer of 19 strings on this one… and check out the crazy wind instruments. There is a wonderful display of clothing from the mid 18th century. Even the pet monkey had stylish togs. But take a look at the undergarments women wore! I love doors and this museum has many. The front door opens automatically when we approach. Seems weird for such an ancient door. We walk along the river on our way to Maximillianstrasse, where all the fancy expensive shops are located. On the way, a firetruck pulls up and the firemen check behind bushes and in garbage cans, then drive away. We wonder what they are looking for. We window shop where the wealthy people shop! The two outfits on the left are only 42,400.00 euros! The red outfit is only 26,300 euros! At today’s exchange rate that is over $100,00!
The stores are closed so they only leave the ‘cheaper’ watches in the windows. Notice the empty stands for the more expensive ones. We pass more very loud, very energetic Chilean protesters on our way home.