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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in Netherlands
Surviving the Iconoclasm

<EM>Veronica en Maria</EM>Brussel, ca. 1475SMCC b1, Aangekocht met steun van Vereniging Rembrandt en Vereniging Vrienden van Museum CatharijneconventRMCC b108, Bruikleen Mauritshuis, Den Haag
Veronica en Maria
Brussel, ca. 1475
SMCC b1, Aangekocht met steun van Vereniging Rembrandt en Vereniging Vrienden van Museum Catharijneconvent
RMCC b108, Bruikleen Mauritshuis, Den Haag
Surviving the Iconoclasm
UTRECHT  •  Museum Catharijneconvent  •  Ongoing

Museum Catharijneconvent is presenting a major exhibition of medieval Utrecht sculpture from before the Iconoclasm, the period when mobs destroyed many images in the city’s Catholic churches. Never before has there been a display of so many sculptures that escaped the waves of destruction unleashed between 1566 and 1580. The selection comprises more than 90 superb wooden, stone and pipeclay statues. They were all made in Utrecht, which was the economic, religious, political and cultural centre of the Northern Netherlands during the Middle Ages.

Utrecht suffered three separate iconoclasms between 1566 and 1580. Churches were stripped of objects that were used in Catholic services. Unused churches and religious houses were soon demolished, and their statues were dumped into rubbish tips, buried or removed from sight in some other way. Utrecht suffered another disaster in 1674 when a tornado destroyed most of the nave of the city’s cathedral.

The lengthy construction of the cathedral, starting in the second half of the thirteenth century, was of great importance for the development of Utrecht sculpture. Between 1450 and 1520, in particular, many sculptors profited from this gigantic building project. They worked not only on the cathedral fabric but for canons, priests and wealthy private citizens as well.

Museum Catharijneconvent Website


Museum Catharijneconvent
Lange Nieuwstraat 38
3512 PH Utrecht
The Netherlands


Tel: 31 (0)30 231 38 35

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