Hendrik Kerstens in Exhibtion at Reiss Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany

Lush women, powdered wigs, decadent feasts and magnificent monuments? For a long time the Baroque era was brought solely in connection with clichéd notions. But a closer look at the European cultural history of the years 1580 to 1770 brings surprises to light: advanced knowledge in medicine, a classical antique ideal of beauty, pioneering economic developments, scientific rationality and an all-pervasive order structure.


Powder, pomp and decadence?


The cultural and historical exhibition "Baroque - only beautiful appearance" presents baroque temporal characteristics beyond powder, pomp and decadence. It represents the first time the complexity and contradictions of the Baroque era to the center of the presentation. While the culture of the court with lavish parties and costly way of life to this day is a symbol of "baroque", coined denominational conflicts, devastating wars and catastrophic famines in many places everyday. Nevertheless, there was in this era of the early modern optimism: With the new instruments such as the telescope and microscope, explored the stars of heaven and the flora and fauna of the earth. Trade, scientific exchanges and missionary trips altered the worldview sustainably and provided for the first time for a global networked society. Finally got through a growing consciousness of the middle the previous feudal society to falter.


Selected exhibits present complexity of the baroque era


Using 300 exhibits that are associated with the topics of "space", "body", "knowledge", "order", "Faith" and "Time", the exhibition before the main characteristics of the age. In addition, topics and design forms of the Baroque can still be found in advertising, fashion, design, art and architecture and demonstrate the relevance of the phenomenon. By drawing the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums are continuing their long-standing close cooperation with the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna. Numerous other European museums and collections support the project with valuable loans.