An exhibition of over 400 works of art selected from the extensive collections of the German Princely House of Hesse. The term “Hessian” evokes the 18th century German soldiers whose training and prowess were so esteemed that they were engaged by the British to fight in the American War of Independence. Few outside of Germany, however, know of the noble family that has led the state of Hesse since the 16th century and continues to this day.
The multi-faceted collection, representing over five centuries of art, includes German national treasures. Prominent in the collection are: Baroque silver and 18th century furniture, a gilded throne, German Romantic paintings, portraits by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, a Russian dowry, arts of the Jugendstil from the Hesse-sponsored Darmstadt artists colony, and Classical antiquities. Also on view is an 18th century royal coach, restored to its original condition through funding by the Portland Art Museum, and a pair of portraits by Lucas Cranach the Elder. The family s most prestigious holding, Hans Holbein s Madonna (c. 1526/26 and 1528/29), regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of the German Renaissance, is included in this exhibition and is on view outside of Europe for the very first time.
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