The Art Museum houses the collections of the Picture Gallery and the Department of Prints.
The main focus of this museum lies on the drawings and paintings of the period from 1400 to 1600, a very important period in art history, and on the works of the 19th and 20th century.
The pictures and drawings from the 'Oberrhein' region and the Netherlands emerged from the collection of paintings assembled by the Basel humanist and connoisseur Basilius Amerbach.
The Public Art Collection Basel owns the world's most extensive compilation of works by the Holbein family.
Other important works in the museum stem from the Renaissance period, including such renowned artists as Konrad Witz, Martin Schongauer, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Mathias Grünewald.
The extensive Amerbach Cabinet, of which this older section of the collection forms part, was bought in 1661 by the magistracy of the town and was subsequently dedicated to its citizens as the first public museum in the world.
A chief attraction from the 19th century is the collection of paintings by a native of this city: the famous artist and protagonist of the highly acclaimed movement of Symbolism, Arnold Böcklin.
Taking a glance at the 20th century, the main focus is on the field of Cubism (Picasso, Braque, Gris), German Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and finally the Pop Art movement.
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