Showcase Exhibition | 19.10.2014 – 15.03.2015

Saint Anne Image and Worship

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The showcase exhibition in the Liberna Study Hall was dedicated to Saint Anne, various forms of images of her, and the story of her emergence and veneration. While in the centre of the presentation seven sculptures – including from the Museum Schnütgen in Cologne – elucidated the various types of a very special pictorial form – the Virgin and Child with Saint Anne – manuscripts, incunabula, books after 1500, and graphic works from the Liberna Collection illustrated the legend of the Saint and classified her biography within the history of the veneration of Maria. All the objects exhibited had one thing in common: they showed the devout mass veneration of the beloved saint. While Saint Anna was still one of the most popular saints at the start of the early modern era around 1500, she has nearly been forgotten today. In the cult surrounding the veneration of the grandmother of Christ, themes such as family, marriage, and motherhood play a big role. At the same time, her life story is not found in the Bible. The so-called apocryphal Protoevangelium of James is considered to be the only early-Christian source on Maria’s parents, Joachim and Anna, and forms the starting point for the handing down of further legends – recorded, for instance, in the famous “Legenda aurea” (Golden Legend) by the Italian, Dominican monk and later Archbishop of Genoa, Jacobus de Voragine.

Die heilige Anna. Bildform und Verehrung | © Draiflessen Collection, Mettingen