Current Exhibits

A selection of our current exhibits

  • St. Anne from Cologne

    The third sculpture of St. Anne with the Virgin and Child on display at the Mining and Gothic Museum in Leogang is on private loan and comes from the Cologne workshop of the master craftsman Tilman. Tilman appears in the archives as having been in Cologne between 1487 and 1515 and is the most important sculptor and woodcarver of Cologne’s Late Gothic Period.

    Originally, the group of figures probably stood in the centre of a small winged altarpiece. They are carved in oak, are flat at the back and were made between 1500 and 1510.

    Mary’s high forehead and fine, open, wavy hair below a simple crown are typical of sculptures from Tilman’s workshop.

  • Mary of Burgundy’s prayer nut

    Prayer nuts are nut-shaped, carved capsules which open into two halves. They were mainly used from the late 15th century until the mid-16th century as pendants on rosaries or necklaces. The German term ‘Betnuss’ or ‘pray nut’ dates from the late 19th century and is probably a literal translation of the French term ‘noix de prière’.

    The precious carvings are thought to have originated in Flanders. As this prayer nut is thought to.

    It belonged to Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold and wife of Emperor Maximilian I and is extremely valuable. There are only a few examples like this left in the world. Although the rare art chamber object is only a few centimetres tall, its outer shell makes quite an impression with its lacework carving, as befitting the tastes and style of the Gothic Period. Inside are two significant scenes, delicately reproduced.

    If you open the nut, one half shows a carved picture of John the Evangelist with St. Catherine and her sword, along with St. Barbara.

    In the background on the right you can make out the tower in which St. Barbara is supposed to have been locked away by her father to prevent her from converting to Christianity. The tower has three windows, a symbol of the Holy Trinity.

    As patron saint of miners, St. Barbara is important in Leogang. A tunnel was named after her and December 4, St. Barbara’s Day, was a main feast day for the miners here.

    The second half of the prayer nut shows Mary of Burgundy with her husband Emperor Maximilian and St. George.

  • Painting of Lichtenberg Castle

    The exact origins of Lichtenberg Castle near Saalfelden are obscure. It was first mentioned in a document in 1281. The castle stands imposingly on a rock promontory above the Steinernes Meer (‘rocky sea’), 60 m above Saalfelden, and served from the end of the 13th century as the seat of the archbishop’s official who, from here, managed the Saalfelden-Lichtenberg administrative courts.

    In 1526 the castle was destroyed during the Salzburg peasants’ revolt and rebuilt in subsequent decades by the Saalfelden municipality. In the course of rebuilding, the castle acquired its mighty round tower to the southwest.

    After the archiepiscopal officials moved their seat of power to the valley in the early 18th century, the castle served only as the home of a senior forestry official. It fell noticeably into disrepair and was auctioned and sold for 8,340 guilders (just over 50,000 euros) to Adolf Ritter Weiß von Teßbach in 1870. Lichtenberg Castle owes its current appearance to the noble Weiß von Teßbach family; it is still in their possession today.

    Behind Lichtenberg Castle, Michael Hofer’s painting shows the Leogang Valley and towering Leogang Mountains to the west and Zeller Basin to the south, with the Hohe Tauern beyond. The view to the east of the Urslautal and pilgrimage site of Maria Alm completes this tremendous panorama. Above the castle, at the foot of a high limestone cliff, we find the hermitage of St. George am Palfen which is still inhabited today.

    Michael Hofer, who proves his masterful handling of colour, light, shadow and perspective here too, again with oil on cardboard, signed the picture ‘M. Hofer’ on the bottom right. The painting is on loan from a private collection in Salzburg.

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