Special exhibition at Augusteum
Venerated. Beloved. Forgotten. Mary between the Denominations
Queen of Heaven or servant of the Lord – Mary both unites and divides the denominations. But what led to such divergent views on the mother of God?
The Catholics invoked Mary as a mediator of divine salvation. They created richly embellished imagery illustrating scenes from her life and identified with her suffering and joys in their hymns and prayers for intercession.
Luther too revered her: to him, she was the “dear, precious maid”, on whom he preached many sermons. Nevertheless, his faith, focused on Christ alone, led him to reject the Marian cult of his time. Based on biblical evidence, he regarded Mary as the epitome of humility, love and compassion. Among his Protestant successors, however, she became largely forgotten.
Through works of art as well as theology, literature and music, the exhibition casts light on the varied history of Marian piety in the century of the Reformation. It brings together more than 100 precious objects, including carved sculptures, paintings and graphic and textual works, that demonstrate the wide range of Marian imagery, from glorious Queen of Heaven to humble servant of God and highlight both the connections and divisions between Catholic and Lutheran approaches to Marian devotion in the 16th century.