–  Clemens Sels Museum Neuss

Storytelling in pictures

Edward von Steinle and Leopold Bode

The spring exhibition presented about thirty paintings and cycles of paintings by Edward von Steinle (1810-1886) and Leopold Bode (1831-1906), whose works depict motifs from poetry from the Middle Ages to Romanticism. Tales by Clemens Brentano, Shakespeare's entertaining dramas, Schiller's famous Bell Jar, and also the Grimm's fairy tales are the materials captured by Steinle and Bode in sometimes large-format, multi-part, often magnificently framed paintings. They are among the most beautiful works created by these artists. The masterfully executed, richly detailed watercolors and oil paintings were purchased by well-heeled collectors. Count Adolf Friedrich von Schack from Munich was one of Steinle's and Bode's greatest admirers and was also one of their most important collectors and clients. The exhibition at the Clemens Sels Museum Neuss was created in cooperation with the Schack Collection in Munich, which counts outstanding works by the two artists among its holdings. Many of them were now on view in the Neuss exhibition, along with numerous other valuable and worthwhile loans.

The show provided a glimpse of a pictorial world that had been forgotten for decades and invited viewers to immerse themselves in these worlds, to read the pictorial narratives, but also to discover the painters as "poets with brushes." However, the exhibition opened another chapter: It is hardly known that both Steinle and Bode received many commissions in the Rhineland. The Cologne Cathedral, the old Wallraf-Richartz Museum, but also sacred buildings in Neuss were painted by them. This work was vividly documented along wonderful loans, some of which have never been presented to the public before.

Sponsored by:
Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation
Rhineland Regional Association
Jubilee Foundation of the Sparkasse Neuss


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