Een iconisch portret van Martin Luther. Lucas Cranach
22 September 2017 to 28 January 2018

Luther, icon of 500 years of Reformation

Reformer, populist, revolutionary, rebel, shrewd marketeer, anti-Semite, fundamentalist, misogynist, damned or holy? Who was Luther, and what made him such an influential icon? In its exhibition Luther, to run from 22 September 2017 to 28 January 2018, Museum Catharijneconvent will be going in search of the man behind 500 years of Reformation. A unique opportunity to look with fresh eyes at this ‘man of the year’ and that memorable event in our history with the aid of superb works of art. For on 31 October it will be precisely 500 years ago that Luther ‘nailed’ his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, unleashing a great revolution in European history.

Luther: icon of the Reformation

In word, image, music and satire the visitor will discover the power of this influential reformist rebel. Many objects - pamphlets, paintings, silverware, cartoons - as well as recognisable challenging dilemmas, music and theatre, shed a new light on the gripping story of Luther and the Reformation. Works of art by such artists as Lucas Cranach and Albrecht Dürer from the museum’s own collection and from others, among them the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the National Gallery in Prague and the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, will trace the innovative way Luther proclaimed his message to the world.

Discover the power of this influential refomist rebel

Present relevance

Questions that this exhibition will be posing about Luther are more varied and topical than ever. What transformed Luther from unknown monk into icon of the Reformation? Which propaganda tools did he use in his campaign five centuries ago? How did he manage to reach so many people and convince them of his ideas. In what way did Luther unleash the greatest revolution in European church history. And what are the points of contact with the present day?