9.12.2018–24.3.2019: Worlds of angels

What are angels?

Winged bearers of divine tidings? Brave warriors against evil? Guarding companions? Female beings of light or childlike creatures?

The term “angel” is referred to with so many different phenomenon and beliefs, it is hard to find common ground. Taking a closer look, what is supposed to be a well-known topic raises many questions.

The exhibition accepts the challenge: It shows the diversity of the “angel universe” in Judeo-Christian culture and wonders on which principles the culture developed. The retrospect comes across ancient Greco-Roman, Egyptian-Canaanite and even Assyrian archetypes that live on in the Christian angels.

This genealogy brings us closer to the character of angels. Finally, to define what is an angel is always an exciting attempt – to name an aspect of being that is beyond comprehension.

Testimony to ancient highly developed cultures

The derivation of the Christian angel motifs from ancient cultures succeeds with outstanding loan collections from the Bible & Orient Museum in Fribourg (Switzerland). In a fascinating wealth the exhibits show gods and companions, symbolic animals and hybrid beings as well as ruler apotheoses and heroes which in their entirety influenced the perception of biblical heavenly creatures.

Stone reliefs and bronze figures, amulets and appliques, scarabs and votive offerings, sarcophagus fragments, bowls, vases, goblets and lustres, cylinder seals as well as seal amulets and gold coins cover the historic era of more than three centuries and show the development of the angel picture in a rich and closed panorama. The great diversity of objects offers insights into life and faith of past cultures.

Unknown treasures of the Diocesan Museum

Selected works of art of the Diocesan Museum give you an idea of the Christian images of angels. Main works of the medieval panel paintings are on display, sculptures and treasury art, as well as paintings, drawings and graphic arts which have never been presented before. Drafts and sketches of popular baroque masters from the art collection of August Stubenvoll (Ellwangen, Germany) are displayed for the first time. His collection has been located in the Diocesan Museum since 2016. Moreover, the exhibit offers an exemplary insight to the fascinating oeuvre of the Austrian painter, graphic artist and illustrator Hans Fronius (1903–1988). After a private donation, the Museum is now in possession of a large selection of his work.

Accompanying program to the exhibition

Sunday, 9.12.2018, 15 hrs | Vernissage

Sunday, 16.12.2018, 11 hrs | Public guided tour

Sunday, 16.12.2018, 15 hrs | Lecture “Art does not reproduce the visible but makes things visible” (Paul Klee) – lecture on the visionary design of heavenly beings in classical modernism

Saturday, 22.12.2018, 15 hrs | Tour for children (children aged 6 to 11): Friendly helpers and angry dragon slayers – guardian angels and other mediators between heaven and earth

Sunday, 13.1.2019, 11 hrs | Public guided tour

Sunday, 13.1.2019, 15 hrs | Lecture “You have a guardian angel!” – angels in Islam

Saturday, 19.1.2019, 16 hrs | Dialogue tour “The part of God which is dedicated to humans” – the change of the angel image from a theological-art historical point of view

Sunday, 20.1.2019, 15 hrs | Lecture: The droves of angels from Rexingen – historic and expressionist depictions of angels in St Johannes Baptist parish church

Sunday, 3.2.2019, 15 hrs | Lecture “God’s deployment force”

Saturday, 9.2.2019, 15 hrs | Dialogue tour: Purgatory on the altar – benefactors and angels at the service of pour souls

Thursday, 14.2.2019, 15 hrs | Women’s talk: About men in white robes and winged Nike goddesses – the development of the angel motif in the Bible and in art

Saturday, 16.2.2019, 10 Uhr | Dance workshop – Angels in motion

Sunday, 17.2.2019, 11 hrs | Public guided tour

Sunday, 24.2.2019, 15 hrs | Sacred concert in Sülchen Church Rottenburg – “For he will command his angels to guard you in all your ways”

Sunday, 10.3.2019, 16 hrs | Lecture: God’s 72 angels and their names – angel traditions in mysticism of Judaism


Tours can be booked individually.
Please contact us at Diocesan Museum Rottenburg by e-mail or phone, we would be pleased to advise you.