The art of the Echter period has never before been so extensively represented as in this exhibition in Würzburg. The catalogue illustrates how Würzburg was able to tie into the international Renaissance – in the form of paintings, prints, miniatures, drawings, coins, sculpture, architectural sculpture, furniture, tapestries, books, musical scores, goldsmiths’ work, weapons, letters and other original documents.
For more than 40 years, from 1573 to 1617, Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn, the prince-bishop of Würzburg, ruled the town and countryside, influencing this region more than any other ruling personality before or after him. Echter rebuilt the town that formed his royal seat, had around 300 churches constructed in his territory, supported the fine arts and music, reformed the education system, and collected works of art and books. The development of courtly representation went hand-in-hand with Echter’s zeal for the Counter-Reformation, because the starting point and goals of his actions always remained religiously motivated.