View into the interior of the Baroque gallery at Ludwigsburg Residential Palace

Art appreciation in a royal settingThe Baroque gallery

Collections of paintings were a royal status symbol in the Baroque period, and Württemberg's dukes likewise presented their collections inside the palace. Since 2004, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart has displayed selected German and Italian works from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Count Gustav Adolf von Gotter, portrait by Martin van Meytens, 1732

Count Gustav Adolf von Gotter.

An art collector with exquisite taste

Some of the works displayed in the Baroque gallery have been part of the Württemberg ducal collection for more than 250 years. In 1736, Duke Carl Alexander acquired over 400 pictures from the substantial art cabinet of Count Gustav Adolf von Gotter, a Prussian envoy at the court of Vienna. His portrait, by Viennese court painter Martin van Meytens (1695–1770), is one of the principal pieces of the exhibition.

Portrait of Duke Eberhard Ludwig, by an unknown artist, circa 1720

Back in its historic home.

Ducal art in close quarters

More than 120 paintings from the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart's collection are displayed in the same rooms in which Duke Eberhard Ludwig von Württemberg, who commissioned the palace, once displayed his collection. Shoulder to shoulder, the gallery and two adjoining rooms on the second floor of the old central building once held nearly one thousand works of art. However, unlike today, most of them were not particularly of artistic relevance.

Mysterious symbols in artistic arrangement

Painters of the Baroque period often included hidden messages in their paintings, which only revealed themselves upon closer inspection. The wasps and other insects in the still life of fruit by painter Katharina Treu (1743–1811) appear coincidental. They feast on the flawless fruit, causing it to rot. The audience of her period would have understood the reference: the painter was hinting at the transience of earthly existence.

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