MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
A passionate fan of Bach's music and Cranach's paintings, Solveig Steinhardt loves the art behind the 500th-anniversary celebrations of the Protestant Reformation.
Martin Luther's protest against the Catholic church and the art it inspired.
Five centuries ago, when Martin Luther wrote his 95 theses to protest against the excesses of the pope and the corruption of the Catholic church, he probably had no idea to what extent his words would
change the world. He not only founded a new religion; by challenging what had been the world's biggest power for more than 1000 years, he became a hero of free speech, and triumphed against the church thanks to his ability to speak to the masses in their language. Be it for his religious importance or for his historic relevance, Luther is celebrated in Germany by many more people than the 30% of the population that identifies as Lutheran. Throughout 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will bring a number of events to all the German towns associated with him, including Eisleben, where he was born; Wittenberg, where he posted his 95 theses; and Eisenach, where he translated the Bible into German. There are even organized walks between these cities, covering a total of 2000 km. Although Berlin remains outside of the Luther trail, the city will celebrate the priest with the exhibition The Luther
Effect at MartinGropius-Bau, on until 5 November. Curated by the Deutsches Historisches Museum (p. 38), the show focuses on Luther as a historic character and ponders the effect of Protestantism on the modern world, the different interpretations of Luther's teachings, and even the religion's potential for giving rise to conflicts and wars. And you don't have to be a devout Christian to appreciate this exhibition: the marvelous art by painters like Cranach and his followers, as well as objects such as letters, sculptures, and photographs make this a must-see for any art lover. For more on the charismatic priest, don't miss the Evangelical Church Days, bringing hundreds of cultural events to town between 24 and 28 May, including concerts featuring lots of Bach as well as jazz and pop music, theater plays, shows, and various conferences and talks. Visit www.kirchentag.de for more information.
Martin Luther in the Circle of Reformers,1625/1650
A Lutheran pastor preaching to his congregation