The Wallraf-Richartz Museum is one of the three major museums in Cologne, Germany. It houses an art gallery with a collection of fine art from the medieval period to the early twentieth century. Part of its collection was used for the establishment of Museum Ludwig in 1976.
The Madonna in the Rose Bower, shown at right, is among the Gothic paintings in the collection of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. It was created by Stefan Lochner, who lived between 1410 and 1451 in Germany, mainly working in Cologne. He is considered a late Gothic painter. His work usually has a clean appearance, combining the Gothic attention toward long flowing lines with brilliant colors and a Flemish influence of realism and attention to detail. This painting is considered typical of his style. It was executed about 1450 and shows the Virgin and Child reposing in a blooming rose arbor that is attended by Lochner's characteristic, child angels.
Jacob van Utrecht is the painter of the altarpiece for the Great Saint Martin Church in Cologne, dated 1515, which is now in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. This painter is also known by another signature, "Jacobus Traicetensis". He was an early Renaissance Flemish painter who worked in Antwerp and Lübeck, and his lifespan is thought to have been from 1479 to sometime after 1525. In addition to Jacobus Traicetensis, he also signed some of his artworks with his real surname, Claez.
Very little is known about the painter. Research on this important Flemish artist did not begin until the end of nineteenth century. Although it is not certain, it appears that he was born in Utrecht. It is assumed that he became a citizen of Antwerp around 1500 and he is recorded as a "free master craftsman" of the Guild of St Luke there from 1506 to 1512.
From 1519 to 1525 he is recorded as a member of the Leonardsbruderschaft ("Leonard's Brotherhood"), a religious confraternity of merchants in Lübeck among whose ranks the leaders of the Protestant Reformation in the 1530s could be found. Nothing else has been discovered about him.
Among other works from the Early Renaissance in the collection is Adoration of the Child (Bosch) by Hieronymous Bosch.
The Wallraf-Richartz collection includes the work of Impressionist painter, Berthe Morisot, which was painted in 1881, and is entitled, Child among staked roses or "Kind zwischen Stockrosen".
In 1864, paintings by Morisot began to be admitted for exhibition in the highly esteemed Salon de Paris. Sponsored by the government and judged by academicians, the Salon is the annual juried exhibition of the best new paintings and sculptures, the official art exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris.
Her work continued to be selected for exhibition in the salon for ten years before, in 1874, she joined the "rejected" Impressionists in the first of their own exhibitions. Organized by Cézanne, Degas, Monet, Morisot, Pissarro, Renoir, and Sisley, it was held at the studio of the photographer, Nadar.
James Rosenquist, born on November 29, 1933, is an acclaimed American artist. He was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota. In junior high school, Rosenquist won a short-term scholarship to study at the Minneapolis School of Art and subsequently studied painting at the University of Minnesota from 1952 to 1954. In 1955 he moved to New York on scholarship to study at the Art Students League. From 1957 to 1960, he earned his living as a billboard painter. This was perfect training, as it turned out, for an artist about to explode onto the pop art scene.
The Wallraf-Richartz Museum participated in his first early career retrospective in 1972 in conjunction with the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York. Since that retrospective, he has been the subject of several gallery and museum exhibitions, both in the United States and Europe.
On February 14, 2008, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum announced that On the Banks of the Seine by Port Villez, attributed to Claude Monet, was a forgery. The discovery was made when the painting was examined by restorers prior to an upcoming Impressionism exhibition. X-ray and infrared testing revealed that a "colorless substance" had been applied to the canvas to make it appear older. The picture was acquired by the museum in 1954. The museum, which will keep the forgery, still has five authentic Monet paintings in its collection.