Die Feinheit...

Speaking of coins and medals, Glanz des Hauses Habsburg:Die Medaillen der römisch-deutschen Kaiser und der Kaiser von Österreich 1500 bis 1918 opened yesterday at the Bode-Museum in Berlin, and will run until 1 June. Thanks Staatliche Museen zu Berlin!

Link to the Exhibition Page

The Specifics:

Glanz des Hauses Habsburg: Die Medaillen der römisch-deutschen Kaiser und der Kaiser von Österreich 1500 bis 1918

Bode-Museum Coin Cabinet
Museumsinsel, Berlin/Mitte
Berlin, Germany
29 January - 1 June 2009


Münzen und Medaillen

Mints of the Habsburg realm find their modern iteration in Künker.de, a universe of original coins and commemorative medals from the German lands and beyond. Naturally, they specialize in early modern stuff.

Link to Künker Münzen- und Goldhandel

Beduzzi in Brno

Grand Staircase and Entrance Hall of Kinsky Palace, Vienna, Austria

Only in Central Europe and Stockholm do the solander boxes burst with designs envisioning a totalized interior decoration, where the post-Berninesque unity of painting, sculpture, and architecture thrives on paper, as in life. Earlier this week, Moravian Gallery in Brno, Czech Republic, emptied its solanders to mount Antonio Maria Beduzzi: The Bolognese Decorator and Austrian Aristocracy. The exhibition centers on sketches, finished drawings, and various invenzione of the expatriate interior decorator, who was especially active in Moravia. Curator Zdeněk Kazlepka frames the work in the context of Austrian aristocratic patronage, with particular focus on Beduzzi’s work for the Liechtenstein family.

Beduzzi, like Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, enjoyed the luck of living in the age when his occupation’s reputation as a fine art reached its zenith. And yet, the artist lost the chance to realize his most ambitious plans. Austrian architect Johann Lucas Hildebrandt, not Beduzzi, won the commission to build the latter’s design for the staircase at Palais Kinsky in Vienna. Antonio Maria Beduzzi contributes to our picture of the artist by presenting his unadulterated visions, and even in Moravia, it’s a rare sight indeed.

Link to the Exhibition Page

The Specifics:

Antonio Maria Beduzzi: The Bolognese Decorator and Austrian Aristocracy
23 January 2009- 7 June 2009

The Moravian Gallery
Governor’s Palace (Kabinet)
Moravské náměstí 1a
Brno, Czech Republic



Title; Text Font: Georgia
Description; Sidebar Title; Post Footer Font: Trebuchet
Template: Minima (created by Douglas Bowman 2004)

The banner is my own photograph, taken in June 2008 on a street in the first district of Vienna. I think Annagasse, but I’ll have to return in order to confirm that. All images are culled from my own photography and digital collections or are otherwise cited and credited to an alternate source via the presence of an attendant link.

*Thanks to The Art History Blog [http://arthistory.we-wish.net/] for inspiring a colophon!

Hans Rottenhammer: Bohemian Edition

Until August 2008, German painter Hans Rottenhammer (1564-1625) had never inspired an exhibition devoted solely to his own oeuvre. The artist’s historiographical fortunes changed dramatically when the Weserrenaissance-Museum at Schloß Brake in Lemgo, Germany decided to address the situation. Hans Rottenhammer: Desired, Forgotten, Rediscovered precipitated an overwhelmingly positive response among specialists and the general public alike. Now, from 12 December 2008 to 22 February 2009, the exhibition will reach a new audience at the Sternberg Palace location of the National Gallery in Prague.

Link to Exhibition Site

Catalogue Specifics:

Heiner Borggrefe, Lubomir Konečný, Vera Lüpkes, Vít Vlnas (ed). Hans Rottenhammer - begehrt, vergessen, neu entdeckt [Hans Rottenhammer - žádaný - zapomenutý – znovuobjevený; Hans Rottenhammer: Desired, Forgotten, Rediscovered] Ausstellung im Weserrenaissance-Museum Schloß Brake bei Lemgo (17.8-16.11.2008) und in der Narodnígalerie Prag (11.12.2008-22.2.2009), Munich, 2008.

Swiss Deluge at Sotheby’s

Perpetual rivals Christie’s and Sotheby’s have elected to vie on 28 January for what money is left in market for Old Master artworks. The coinciding sales would present me with a sitcom-esque dilemma if I had oodles of cash to burn on early modern Central European works. My paddle would leap for the Silesian painting at Christie’s [see my entry on 24 January] but the drawings auction at Sotheby’s would present an almost overwhelming array of options. The first fifty-three works of the auction hail from Central Europe, mostly Switzerland, thus comprise about a third of the total 162-lot sale. Unfortunately, the entire event went under my radar until today, so I can only announce the single remaining viewing time and the auction itself, at:

1334 York Avenue at 72nd St, New York, NY
Tue, 27 Jan 09, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM [viewing time]
Wed, 28 Jan 09, 10:00 AM [sale]

Link to Online Catalogue


Book-Spree | Buchzechtour

Behold, the best German-language bibliography of Central European courtly architecture on the web…Vielen Dank, Herr Dr. Hoppe!

Link to Stephan Hoppe’s Literaturhinweise Page

Shaping Baroque Salzburg

The Residenzgalerie Salzburg, like many of its fellow institutions in Central Europe, contains few works created locally. Besides the requisite holdings in paintings by the artists of the Danube school, Austrian Old Master galleries in particular contain mostly Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, and Flemish works. Rather than functioning as repositories for great Austrian painting [this is found almost exclusively in ceiling frescoes] the institutions act as documents of local collecting habits, patronage, and tastes. Fürsterzbischof Guidobald Graf von Thun 1654 – 1668: Ein Bauherr für die Zukunft, on view at the Residenzgalerie Salzburg until 8 February 2009, operates from this principle, showcasing the collections and architectural patronage of the eponymous cleric.

The Residenzgalerie director Dr. Roswitha Juffinger is credited with the dynamic concept for an exhibition extending beyond the walls of the gallery. Under her guidance, curators have organized numerous tours of the sites and edifices constructed under the Graf von Thun during his rule from 1654 to 1668. In total, these structures and spaces comprise much of the Bauraum of Baroque Salzburg. To supplement the presentation of the Graf’s architectural patronage, curators have painstakingly reconstructed the projected contents and appearance of the his collections with an eye to the questions raised by grey areas in the historic documentation of the group. A book accompanying the exhibition explores the debates more closely, permanently recording this ephemeral arrangement of familiar works.

Link to Exhibition Site

Link to Book Site

The Specifics:

Juffinger, Roswitha (ed.). Fürsterzbischof Guidobald Graf von Thun 1654 – 1668: Ein Bauherr für die Zukunft. Residenzgalerie Salzburg. Salzburg: Residenzgalerie Salzburg, 2008.


Perennial AD

As the newly confederated Harvard University Art Museums undergo extensive renovations, mounting large-scale exhibitions remains impossible. For the time being HUAM will instead curate heavily redacted versions of the real thing, beginning with a small show on a perennial favorite—Albrecht Dürer. Massachusetts comes just short of OD-ing on the artist this January, but the Smith and Harvard shows in conjunction offer a unique opportunity to compare several examples of the same print in a single day. The Age of Albrecht Dürer will occupy a viewing case on the fourth floor of the Sackler Museum until 1 February 2009.

Link to Harvard Exhibition


Silesian Gem Surfaces, Albeit Briefly

Silesian portraiture rarely makes an appearance on the art market. When it does come up for sale stateside, the event takes on a tone one might expect from, say, the sighting of an albino blue-footed booby. Today, Christie's begins limited viewing hours for its 28 January sale, including a work by the Master of the Andreas Hertwig Portrait. This unknown artist was active during the middle of the 16th century in the now-dissolved region of Silesia, today part of Poland and the Czech Republic. Notably, the Silesian portrait for sale on the 28th comes from a private collection and, if sold, will probably not soon resurface. Moreover, the work has been published only four times and was last exhibited publicly in 1959--hence the albino blue-footed booby analogy. Viewing hours for the portrait, and other works for sale during the 28 January auction, will take place in New York, at Rockefeller Plaza, at the following times:

Jan 24 1pm - 5pm
Jan 25 1pm - 5pm
Jan 26 10am - 8pm
Jan 27 10am - 2pm


Imitatio vs. Emulatio

[Emulation or Imitation: The Case of Dürer vs. Raimondi Exhibition Review]

Smith College Museum of Art has a knack for salvaging early modern works from the usual curatorial platitudes to recast objects in entirely unexpected ways. Emulation or Imitation: The Case of Dürer vs. Raimondi plays to interests in contemporary cultural issues of copyright infringement and the unauthorized reproduction of creative material by contextualizing the two artists’ prints within the framework of such debates. The show presents several original prints by Albrecht Dürer and corresponding copies by Marcantonio Raimondi, mostly from the former’s Life of the Virgin series. Though Dürer and Raimondi act as the major players of the show, approximately twenty-five prints from a variety of Renaissance artists are arranged to develop distinct categories of visual citation, including emulation, imitation, and outright copying.

Ironically, the exhibition’s endeavor to demonstrate Dürer’s relevance depends upon decidedly unfashionable art historical methodologies--I’m talking about that body of Morellian arts we call connoisseurship--and it works. Dürer presented a legal case against Raimondi not because the Italian artist was copying his prints, but rather, because he disseminated works bearing Dürer’s distinctive AD signature. Several of Raimondi’s copies are therefore almost identical to their Dürer models, and were intended to pass as such. Connoisseurship is crucial to the premise of the show, allowing the curators to distinguish “original” from “copy”, and to arrange the objects as such for public viewing. Implicitly, Emulation or Imitation advocates the reassessment of a methodology too often dismissed by contemporary academe, while also prompting questions about the problematic dichotomy between “real” and “fake”.

Link to Smith Current Exhibition Page

The Specifics:

Emulation or Imitation: The Case of Dürer vs. Raimondi
January 9 - April 19, 2009
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA

Taschen Releases Braun/Hogenberg Atlas

During the last quarter of 2008, German art publisher/dynamo Taschen finally published a long-awaited, gorgeous reprint of the 1572 Civitates orbis terrarum (that’s the Braun/Hogenberg atlas to the rest of us). Authored by Stephan Füssel, with commentary by contemporary architect Rem Koolhas, this document of sixteenth-century cityscapes will captivate anyone who wished the 2006 Atlas Maior reprint featured urban zoom-in capabilities.

Link to Atlas Page at Taschen

The Specifics:

Braun/Hogenberg, Cities of the World. Füssel, Prof. Dr. Stephan (ed.). Koolhaas, Rem (contributor). Historisches Museum Frankfurt. Taschen, 2008.


A Restoration Chronicled

The ceiling fresco in the Treppenhaus at the Würzburg Residenz in Bavaria stands as one of the superlative examples of inter-regional artistic collaboration of the Baroque era. After Balthasar Neumann completed the new palace in 1744, the Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo executed the fresco between 1750 and 1753, elevating the space to true Gesamtkunstwerk status. Though Tiepolo’s work did survive a devastating bombing of the Residenz during the Second World War, two and a half centuries after its creation, the welfare of the fresco depended on some serious restoration efforts. Between 2003 and late October 2008 the painted surface was cleaned and missing or severely damaged passages were conserved or restored. All the while, technicians and officials at the Residenz documented the project with great care, resulting in an engrossing trilingual web resource with extensive and sumptuously illustrated coverage of the initiative.

Link to Treppenhaus Restoration Site


Debut of The City Rehearsed

On 12 December, 2008, Routledge released Christopher Heuer’s latest contribution to the study of visual culture north of the Alps. ‘The City Rehearsed: Object, Architecture, and Print in the Worlds of Hans Vredeman de Vries’ will occupy a unique place in the historiography of art as the first monograph on the artist in English. The book presents thematic discussions of a remarkable figure, active between the urban centers of Netherlands and Bohemia, who built an urbane and learned identity by remaining fully engaged in the pressing theoretical inquiries of his day. Faithful to Vredeman de Vries’s outstanding qualities, chapter titles of ‘The City Rehearsed’—‘Unbuilt Architecture in the World of Things’, ‘Guidebooks to Chaos’—reflect such issues at every turn. Heuer’s nimble and compelling lecturing style consistently translates to prose of equal finesse, and if ‘The City Rehearsed’ continues in this vein, expect a resurgence of interest in Vredeman de Vries among any acquaintance you’d categorize as an Anglophone Art Historian of the Early Modern Period in Northern and Central Europe.

Link to Routledge Page for The City Rehearsed

The Specifics:

Heuer, Christopher. The City Rehearsed: Object, Architecture, and Print in the Worlds of Hans Vredeman de Vries. London: Routledge Architecture, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-415-43306-8.

Chipps-Smith, on Dürer, in Florida

Noted historian of Northern Renaissance art Jeffrey Chipps-Smith will deliver a lecture entitled "Albrecht Dürer and the Language of Prints" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg, FL), on Friday, 23 January, 2009 at 6:30 PM. The event coincides with the recent opening of the exhibition "Albrecht Dürer: Art in Transition- Masterpieces from the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany" at the MFA St. Petersburg, which will run until 12 April, 2009.


Transalpine Exchange, Size XXXL

[Grand Scale: Monumental Prints in the Age of Dürer and Titian- Catalogue Review]

Acclaim for exhibition Grand Scale: Monumental Prints in the Age of Dürer and Titian reached my ears shortly after it debuted last March at The Davis Museum of Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA), when a generous curator friend of mine arranged for its catalogue to simultaneously reach my hands, gratis. Ever since I have been looking forward to the moment when I can finally encounter a complete version of Albrecht Dürer’s 1515 print, Triumphal Arch of Maximilian I, resplendent with a quality of Habsburgery I find irresistible. The catalogue offers a tantalizing glimpse of what’s in store for me when I visit the show, a collaboration between Larry Silver of the University of Pennsylvania and David Mickenberg, Director of the Davis Museum, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art next month.

Essays by Larry Silver, Suzanne Boorsch, Lilian Armstrong, Alison Stewart, Stephen Goddard populate the first section of the book, covering topics as various as the sixteenth-century modular print, the erotic wallpaper of Hans Sebald Beham, city views of early modern Northern Italy, and magisterial depictions of triumphal processions, ancient and modern. An extensive and highly useful bibliography accompanies the essays and images. Every work represented in the exhibition is illustrated in the catalogue in rich detail, augmented by additional images attendant to the essays. Nevertheless, one of the challenges of publishing a catalogue on the subject of monumental works is the inherent unsuitability of the art to this format. The publishers allay this issue by including enlarged images of the most interesting passages of certain prints, and by binding the book in a size I could barely squeeze into carry-on luggage earlier today.

Though not addressed directly in the catalogue’s introduction, an interest in transalpine exchange works to connect the book’s assorted voices. Instances like the collaboration between Benedetto Bordon and Jacob of Strasbourg and Albrecht Dürer’s emulation of Antonio Pollaiuolo punctuate the connoisseurial tone of the work , keeping the issues at hand as fresh, palpable, and present as the larger-than-life prints themselves.

The Specifics:

Silver, Larry (ed.); Wykoff, Elizabeth (ed.). Grand Scale: Monumental Prints in the Age of Dürer and Titian. New Haven & London: Yale UP, 2008.


The Getty's "Cranach Magnified" Tool

The Getty's site is among the richest resources for art historians available today. The Research and Conservation section of the site alone abounds with compelling projects. This tool, which features super-magnified views of selected works by Saxon court artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, trumps ArtStor resources any day.

Link to Cranach Magnified Tool


Ferdinand Tietz Catalogue to Appear

Michael Imhof Verlag, a publishing house focusing on Central European art of the early modern period, has just announced the release of a new catalogue, FERDINAND TIETZ (1708–1777). The book, associated with the 2008 symposium and exhibition at Bamberg in 2008 commemorating the South German sculptor's would-be 300th birthday, will appear some time between March and June 2009. German Rococo sculpture gets little attention in the English-speaking world (especially the United States), but unfortunately there is no indication that the book will be published in English.

The Specifics:

Wolfgang Brassat. FERDINAND TIETZ (1708–1777. Symposion und Ausstellung zum 300. Geburtstag des Rokoko-Bildhauer. Mit Beiträgen von Wolfgang Brassat, Thomas Gunzelmann, Bernd Wolfgang Lindemann, Claudia Maué, Burkard von Roda, Manfred Schuller, Peter Stephan u.a.. Schriften des Instituts für Archäologie, Denkmalkunde und Kunstgeschichte der Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Bd. 1 hg. 2009.

The Basics

The Met's Timeline of Art History is an indispensable resource for those of us who can't seem to remember when the Jagiellonians died out or just where to locate Balthasar Permoser in the larger Kunstlandschaft.

For 1400 to 1600:


For 1600 to 1800:



Karlskirche Restoration Nearing Completion

According to the estimations of the Freunde und Gönner der Wiener Karlskirche, 2009 will mark the end of a decade-long effort to clean and restore the Church of St. Charles Borromeo. Construction began in 1716 after Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach captured the commission from Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, who wanted to erect an Imperial votive church commemorating Vienna's deliverance from the plague of 1712. The Karlskirche was completed by the architect's son, Joseph Emmanuel Fischer von Erlach, in 1737 following J.B. Fischer von Erlach's death in 1723, but no restoration or cleaning initiatives were carried out until the 1999 project. Since at least January 2007, visitors have been able to enjoy the rare opportunity of viewing Johann Michael Rottmayr's exuberant ceiling fresco at close range, taking the "Panoramalift" to a platform atop the restoration scaffolding, nested temporary beneath Fischer's trademark oval cupola. With the terminus of the restoration initiative in sight, those interested in viewing Rottmayr's fresco in full detail are running out of time...

CAA Annual Conference in L.A.-Points of Interest

I don't have a plane ticket to L.A. for the Annual College Art Association Conference. I do have class on the East Coast every day the conference is set to take place. But if neither of these factors presented an issue, this is what I'd be penning into my planner:

Baroque Anatomy: Motives and Methods
Thursday, February 26, 9:30 AM–12:00 PM
West Hall Meeting Room 503, Level 2, Los Angeles Convention Center

-" ... we have the very subject before us ... :" Parsing the "Truth" in Seventeenth-Century Anatomical Images
Lyle Massey, University of California, Irvine

Renaissance Society of America
Renaissance and/or Early Modern: Naming and/or Knowing the Past
Thursday, February 26, 9:30 AM–12:00 PM
Concourse Meeting Room 408A, Level 2, Los Angeles Convention Center

-Some Thoughts on Misnaming/Misreading the Past
Marvin Trachtenberg, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

-Renaissance Perspective: A Medieval Invention?
Samuel Y. Edgerton, Williams College

-When the Renaissance Came to Germany
Jeffrey Chipps Smith, University of Texas at Austin

-The Return of the Renaissance
David Cast, Bryn Mawr College

Wunderkammer: Art as Information/Information as Art
Thursday, February 26, 2:30 PM–5:00 PM
Concourse Meeting Room 408A, Level 2, Los Angeles Convention Center

-Creating a Feminist Art-History Archives in Academia: A Wunderkammer of Women Artists’ Voices and Visions
Gloria F. Orenstein, University of Southern California

-The Performing Archive
Suzanne Lacy, Otis College of Art and Design

-Mnemonic Reading: Fictions, Objects, and Quotation in Art and Literature
Lucy Mulrouney, University of Rochester

-Blogging as Wunderkammer: Finding the Authenticness in Virtual Collections and Personal Taxonomies
Heather McDougal, independent artist, Davenport, California

-The Artist as Reader: Renée Green’s Bibliophilism
Monica McTighe, Tufts University

-The Latino Cabinet of Curiosities: A Postcolonial Interrogation
Amalia Mesa-Bains, California State University, Monterey Bay

-Floating Fast Like a Hummingbird
Alissa Walls Mazow, Pennsylvania State University

Thursday, February 26 5:30-7:00 PM
Historians of German and Central European Art and Architecture
Business Meeting
Concourse Meeting Room 407, Level 2

Italian Art Society
The International Contribution to Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art
Friday, February 27, 9:30 AM–12:00 PM
West Hall Meeting Room 502B, Level 2, Los Angeles Convention Center

-Oppenord in Italy: The French Academy in Rome and the Debate over the Baroque
Jean-François Bédard, Syracuse University

Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture
New Scholars of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture
Friday, February 27, 12:30 PM–2:00 PM
Concourse Meeting Room 404B, Level 2, Los Angeles Convention Center

-French Sculptors and Painters in the Royal Court of Sweden
Linda Hinners, University of Stockholm

The Secret Spaces of Early Modern Europe
Friday, February 27, 2:30 PM–5:00 PM
Concourse Meeting Room 404B, Level 2, Los Angeles Convention Center

-The Secret and the Sacred: Unveiling the Body
Elina Gertsman, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Baroque Art from a Global Perspective: Hybridization in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe
Saturday, February 28, 9:30 AM–12:00 PM

-The Baroque Gothic: The Hybrid Architectures of J. B. Santini and the Culture of Memory in Post-Reformation Bohemia
Pavel Kalina, Czech Technical University Prague

The Northern Court Artist, 1400–1650
Saturday, February 28, 2:30 PM–5:00 PM
Concourse Meeting Room 402AB, Level 2, Los Angeles Convention Center

-What Court Artists Did (and Sometimes Did Not Do)
Carol Herselle Krinsky, New York University

-Hans Springinklee, Johannes Stabius, and the Emperor's Printed Horoscopes
Suzanne Karr Schmidt, Art Institute of Chicago

-Sculpture, the Antique Mode, and Aristocratic Identity at Courts of the Low Countries, 1520–50
Ethan Matt Kavaler, University of Toronto

-Jacopo Strada: Court Antiquarian/Court Artist
Sarah E. Lawrence, Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Schlüter Redux