Baroque in Ulm!
In the 17th century, Ulm produced art of the highest quality: David Heschler (1611 – 1667) and his pupil Johann Ulrich Hurdter (1631/32 – 1716) created masterly works as carvers; their speciality were virtuoso small-format sculptures made of ivory or wood. In addition to religious themes, they catered to contemporary tastes with allegorical, symbolic or mythological depictions. During their lifetime, David Heschler and Johann Ulrich Hurdter were sought-after artists; today they are largely unknown even in Ulm.
David Heschler, born in 1611, and Johann Ulrich Hurdter, who was a generation younger – together their lives spanned almost the entire 17th century. For Ulm it was a time of extremes: the Thirty Years’ War and its consequences were also felt here. At times, up to 16,000 people took refuge behind the protective walls of the city; epidemics broke out and food became more expensive. However, cultural life, interest in science and technology and curiosity about distant countries continued unabated and brought about a new period of prosperity.
In 1619, the “Ulm Comet Controversy” attracted theologians and natural scientists, including the young René Descartes (1596-1650), to Ulm for scholarly disputes. In 1627, the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) had one of his most important writings printed in Ulm and also revised the city’s calibration system. Joseph Furttenbach (1591–1667) made important contributions to the art of architecture and engineering; his house in Ulm was a sight to behold – just like the collection of the merchant Christoph Weickmann (1617–1681) with its fascinating showpieces from distant countries and continents, or the elephant lady ‘Hansken’, who stopped off in Ulm with her owner in 1651.
International loans from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, the Royal Danish Collection and numerous other museums, among others, enable the rediscovery of a forgotten chapter of Ulm’s art history: the masterpieces by David Heschler and Johann Ulrich Hurdter. Exhibits from urban, intellectual, cultural and technical history complete the picture of one of Ulm’s most exciting centuries.
With kind support
With thanks to the object sponsors
and the Brauerei Gold Ochsen and private supporters