During this tour, guests are invited to take a good look at Hell and think about how the contraposition of sinfulness to righteousness has framed Western culture.
We begin our tour with the main gem of the collection, "The Last Judgment" by Hieronymus Bosch. Hell, as depicted in his famous triptych, is rather striking from the point of view of imagination rather than scary to the modern eye. Half-fish, half-egg chimeras, the all-European fear of Ottomans, and the personal disappointments of the artist are all mixed in here. The reasoning of theology and the theory of evolution will help us to understand why pride was deemed so dangerous and why churchmen aimed to control the physical pleasures of their congregations.
"The Holy Family" by Cranach, the theological basis of which was rejected in the sixteenth century, will explain to us the origin of the family portrait genre, while the quattrocento and cinquecento paintings will reveal to us the secrets of creating art for the sake of religious meditation.
"The Rape of Orithyia" by Boreas created by Rubens shows with unbelievable persuasiveness how art that is meant to bring sensational pleasure should look and be a flamboyant interior decoration. Here we can also see the works of the two Rubens apprentices; one of them forever remained in the shadow of his master, while the other marked a new milestone in the development of European pictorial art.
The ability to talk about complex plots by means of pictorial art was the most valued skill in Baroque academies, which is why the gallery contains numerous examples of so-called ‘stories’—canvases with antique historical plots, such as "Baby Moses Trampling on the Pharaoh’s Crown"—and together, we will try to understand which ideas inspired these canvases and how convincing they are nowadays.