A Thousand Words

The Asam Brothers' The Assumption

Mary Elizabeth Podles

"Museums," muses the art historian Germaine Bazin, "have distorted most people's view of painting—we tend to base our appreciation only on what we see there." The common perception, then, that eighteenth-century German painting is an inferior product is held among many writers because, as Bazin goes on to say, "they have forgotten to look up, and to absorb the forms and colours displayed on the church ceilings." Today let us journey down the Danube to the Benedictine Abbey of St. George and St. Martin in Weltenburg, Germany, and cast our eyes up, upward to the Asam brothers' magnificent Assumption, and see . . .

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Mary Elizabeth Podles is the retired curator of Renaissance and Baroque art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. She and her husband Leon, a Touchstone senior editor, have six children and live in Baltimore, Maryland.

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