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Dunkle AnsichtHelle Ansicht
Painting and Graphic Art

Interior view of Basle Münster looking towards the chancel

Key data

dated 1650

Johann Sixt Ringle, Basle

Oil on canvas, 110 x 87 cm

Inv. 1906.3238.


Such interior views of cathedral churches differ from those produced in the C17 by Netherlandish architectural painters in that their aim was documentary rather than artistic. They were commissioned, for example, by a synod (Augsburg) or were painted as a gift of the artist to the bishop (Bamberg). Although the actual occasion for this painting of 1650 is not known, the minute detail of its unsophisticated depiction of Basle Munster full of worshippers even in the side aisles makes it an important pictorial document. The 'Häuptergestühle' or choir stalls for the city's authorities are seen in the foreground - the one preserved in the Museum on the left - with the council members in their proper seating order. On the left wall of the nave opposite the pulpit is the organ with wings painted by Hans Holbein in 1528 (now in the Kunstmuseum); the rood screen was demolished about 1850. The mayor, Johann Rudolf Wettstein, sitting in the Häuptergestühl, and the chief pastor, Theodor Zwinger, preaching, are two prominent personages shown present.

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Basel Historical Museum
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Steinenberg 4
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CH – 4001 Basel

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