The Northern collections are drawn from artists who were active in the Low Countries, France, and Germany, and collectively they exceed the holdings of like-size museums both in quantity and quality. Many important highlights can be discovered within the galleries. The Northern Renaissance features a group of German portraits from the 16th century; a few late Gothic/early Renaissance sculptures, among them a rare Riemenschneider Female Saint; a portable French altarpiece by the Master of the Latour d’Auvergne Triptych; a number of devotional pictures, such as Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Madonna and Child in a Landscape; and the Museum’s most important painting, from an art-historical perspective, Pieter Aertsen’s A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms.
The 17th-century Dutch and Flemish collections are larger in number and include works by many of Holland and Flanders’s most important painters. Pictures by Hendrick Ter Brugghen, Jan Steen, Jan Lievens, Jacob van Ruisdael, and Govaert Flinck join examples by Flemish artists such as Jan Brueghel the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens, Gerard Seghers, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, and Frans Snyders.