Collection of Gothic Sculpture
On the ground floor of the castle keep, which was constructed at the end of the thirteenth century, the collection of late-Medieval painting and sculpture has been exhibited since 1996. Nearly all of the objects date from the time of Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519). The St. George altar is a central work, created between 1510 and 1515 probably as a commission from Maximilian I; it is documented in 1777 in the St. George’s chapel in the castle garden, which was demolished during that year. The emperor, who founded a brotherhood of St. George in 1493 and a St. George society in 1503, was particularly attached to the knight saint, who symbolized the ideals of the crusades and the defence against the Ottomans. The saints on the painted wings of the altar are believed to be portraits of Maximilian’s grandsons, the later Emperors Karl V and Ferdinand I, which would likewise support a Habsburg commission.
Little is known about the original sacral context of the other figures and ensembles. The high-quality pieces, created primarily in Lower Austria but also in the Inn valley, Salzburg, South Tyrol, and the Allgäu, are a late result of the Habsburg passion for collecting during the nineteenth century.