120 Drawings Acquired by Berlin and Augsborg


1. Master of the Mornauer Portrait (active c.1464/88)
Portrait of a Young Man
Pen and Black Ink, Water-Colour - 32.5 x 23.6 cm
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
Photo : Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

6/1/12 - Acquisitions - Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett and Augsborg, Kunstsammlungen und Museen - The engravings room [1] in Berlin and the Augsborg Museum have jointly acquired, thanks to funding from the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preubischer Kulturbesitz), with the services of the Arnoldi-Livie Gallery in Munich, an ensemble of about 120 drawings, mostly German, ranging from the 15th to the 17th century. Bound together in a replica album dating from the 19th century [2], these sheets were part of the important collection assembled in 1650/1670 by the governor of the High Palatinate, Duke Maximilian Willibald von Waldburg-Wolfegg. When he died, the collection numbered 120,000 sheets, both drawings and engravings.

The two establishments agreed that the drawings would all be held in Berlin but any questions concerning their conservation, restoration or loans to exhibitions would be decided together. The issue of preserving the sheets in album form or separating them has not been considered as yet.
Unlike we usually do in similar cases, we cannot provide an exhaustive list of the drawings held in this ensemble, nor their photographs. This is because, as explained to us by Michael Roth, the curator at the Kupferstichkabinett [3], their complete study, in a collaboration by both Berlin and Augsborg, has barely started and many attributions still need to be determined since the drawings were rarely accessible while they were in the private collection. Only the most important ones are relatively well known.

Consequently, we can only give a general idea of the contents. While there are some Italian and Dutch drawings, the greatest part are German, and the most represented is the 15th century, notably with many works by Hans Holbein the Elder or his studio. Many artists are still not identified, particularly among the late 16th and early 17th century sheets.

We have illustrated the beginning of this article with one of the most important works in the ensemble, the Portrait of a Young Man by the Master of the Mornauer Portrait (ill. 1), an anonymous artist active in the second half of the 15th century who gained his name from the Portrait of Alexander Mornauer in the National Gallery in London. The following are some of the other sheets found in this album :

2. Hans Holbein the Elder (1460-1524)
Portrait of Veronika Vetter, c.1499
Pointe d’argent - 16.2 x 13.6 cm
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
Photo : Staatliche Museen zu Berlin


- Hans Holbein, the Elder, Portrait of Veronika Vetter (ill. 2). This is a study for one of the portraits of three nuns appearing in The Epitaph for the Vetter Sisters belonging to the Staatsgalerie Altdeutsche Meister in Augsborg.


3. Hans Holbein the Elder (1460-1524) and studio
Woman Sitting, 1503/1504
Pen and Brown Ink with White Heightening - 19.2 x 13.8 cm
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
Photo : Staatliche Museen zu Berlin


- Hans Holbein, the Elder and studio, Woman Sitting (ill. 3). This drawing is a study for one of the central figures in the altarpiece of the Basilica Saint Paul Outside the Walls, also held in Augsborg.


4. Attributed to Hans Holbein the Elder Studio (1460-1524)
Young Man
Pen and Brown Ink with White Heightening - 22.1 x 15.1 cm
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
Photo : Staatliche Museen zu Berlin


- Attributed to the studio of Hans Holbein, the Elder, Young Man (ill. 4).


5. Attributed to Hans Holbein the Elder Studio (1460-1524)
Nine Busts of Men
Pen and Brown Ink with White Heightening - 27.5 x 18.5 cm
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
Photo : Staatliche Museen zu Berlin


- Attributed to the studio of Hans Holbein, the Elder, Nine Busts of Men (ill. 5).


6. Southern Germany (Bavaria or Nuremberg), c.1440
Three Horsemen
Pen and Gray Ink, Gray Wash, Water-Colour - 17.6 x 26.3 cm
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
Photo : Staatliche Museen zu Berlin


- Southern Germany (Bavaria or Nuremberg), about 1440, Three Horsemen (ill. 6).

Version française


Didier Rykner, jeudi 12 janvier 2012


Notes

[1] Kupferstichkabinett means literally "engravings cabinet" but it also holds the drawings.

[2] This album is known as the "Kleine Klebeband", literally "small glued book".

[3] We would like to thank him for his contribution to this article. Most of the information is taken from n° 4/11 of Arsprototo, the journal of the Kulturstiftung der Länder Foundation, one of the leading financial supporters of German museums, which can be found online here (only in German).



imprimer Print this article

Previous article in News Items : Catherine Chevillot Appointed Head of the Musée Rodin

Next article in News Items : Two Silver Pieces and a Terracotta Acquired by the Rijksmuseum