Current Issue

82 (2019), Issue 2


Christa Syrer (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Deutschland): Friedrich der Weise als Bauherr in Colditz, 1519–1525. Architektur, funktionale Struktur und Raumausstattung eines frühen Renaissanceschlosses zwischen »welsch und deutschen Sitten«

Frederick the Wise (1463–1525), Elector of Saxony, was the leading cultural figure among the German princes of the early 16th century. He showed a special interest in architecture, but only little remains of his ambitious building projects except for Colditz Castle (rebuilt 1519 – 1525). This paper explores his active role as patron at Colditz focusing on the palace’s spatial structure and interior. Putting the Elector’s ideas into practice, the Saxon court painter Lucas Cranach the Elder was in charge of a uniform design which reflected humanist approaches to classical antiquity and different Renaissance styles. Following the model of Emperor Maximilian I, Frederick the Wise realized a sophisticated architectural concept at his residences that suited his noble status and ceremonial needs.

Robert Bauernfeind (Universität Augsburg, Deutschland): Jona und der Hai. Zu einem frühneuzeitlichen Hai-Präparat zwischen Exegese und Naturgeschichte

A seventeenth-century dry preparation of a porbeagle which was combined with a wooden sculpture of the prophet Jonah is analyzed using pictorial theories that emphasize the paradox of preparations being both subject and material of a visual representation. It explains the combination of Jonah and the shark by referring to speculations of early-modern natural history that the large fish that devoured Jonah must have been a shark. The preparation’s characteristic posture appears to be an adaptation of the depiction of a great white shark in Konrad Gessner’s Historia Animalium (1558), which had itself been drawn after a deformed dry preparation. The preparation of the porbeagle – probably made in an ecclesiastical context – thus represents less itself than a large shark.

Kenichi Takahashi (Wakayama University, Japan): Il cannocchiale in Arcadia. Nuove proposte per le Osservazioni astronomiche di Donato Creti

Donato Creti’s Astronomical Observations, eight Vatican paintings, were made for Pope Clement XI on the basis of a plan by his general, Luigi Ferdinando Marsili. At that time, Marsili had been asking the Pope for support to establish the Istituto delle Scienze in Bologna. Using newly discovered documents from 1711, this study reconstructs the early history of the series. The iconographic program of Astronomical Observations is attributed to Eustachio Manfredi, an astronomer and poet of the Accademia dell’Arcadia. This study analyzes the structures and functions of these paintings, thereby revealing their significance, especially compared to the representation of the telescope at the end of the Baroque era, and to the taste and ideology of the same academy to which Clement XI also belonged.

Karin Hellwig (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Deutschland): »Schwierigkeiten« an der Bibliothek Warburg 1920 bis 1922: Fritz Saxls Habilitationsverfahren an der Universität Hamburg

By 1918, the very existence of the Warburg Library was endangered due to Aby Warburg’s serious illness. His family recruited the Viennese Fritz Saxl to come to Hamburg as acting director of the library. Starting in April 1920, Saxl, who had already worked with Warburg before the outbreak of the First World War, developed a comprehensive reform program to transform what was originally a private scholar’s library into a public research institute. One initiative was the pursuit of his habilitation in the spring and summer of 1922 with the goal of academic teaching and thereby creating a close link between the library and the newly founded Kunsthistorisches Seminar of the University of Hamburg. The reconstruction of the hitherto neglected habilitation procedure – and the difficulties that Saxl encountered – is based on newly discovered documents and sheds new light on the process of institutionalization of the Warburg Library between 1920 and 1922.

Martin Schieder (Universität Leipzig, Deutschland): »Entartete Genialität«. Guernica im geteilten Deutschland

When in 1955/1956, for the first time in divided postwar Germany, a major Picasso exhibition took place in Munich, Cologne, and Hamburg, it came to be a cultural event that reached and emotionalized the German audience, media, and sciences to an unprecedented extent. The exhibition Picasso 1900 – 1955 contributed significantly to the popularization of Picasso at all levels of society and gave the German people access to modern art on a much wider scale than the first documenta held concurrently in Kassel. The undisputed eye-catcher of that spectacular exhibit was Guernica, on display in Germany for the first and only time. Its controversial reception reveals that at that time there was no intention to see the work in Germany in a memorial relationship with Germany’s own historical responsibility. Thus it virtually functioned as a symbol for a collective amnesia of the West German postwar society, whereas the socialist East of the Republic stylized the painting into an anti-fascist icon.

Galit Noga-Banai (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel): Local Medievalism: Bernward’s Doors, Hezilo’s Chandelier, and the Memorial Fountain for the Synagogue at Lappenberg in Hildesheim

This article discusses a fountain erected in 1988 in memory of the Hildesheim Synagogue at Lappenberg, which was destroyed during Kristallnacht. It traces the relationship between this modern monument and Hildesheim’s rich artistic heritage, mostly from the Middle Ages and centered around the Christian Church. Based on the artists’ choice of technique and materials, as well as on an analysis of some of the monument’s iconography, the layout of its motifs, and its overall composition, the article argues that, although (and because?) the fountain commemorates a synagogue, it must have been expressly designed to evoke Hildesheim’s (Christian) cultural and historical memory so as to elicit the empathy of the local population.

Book reviews

Daniela Wagner, Die Fünfzehn Zeichen vor dem Jüngsten Gericht. Spätmittelalterliche Bildkonzepte für das Seelenheil (Nigel F. Palmer, St Edmund Hall, Vereinigtes Königreich)

In neuem Glanz. Das Schächer-Fragment des Meisters von Flémalle im Kontext (cat. exp. Francfort-sur-le-Main, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung), éd. par Jochen Sander (Ludovic Nys, Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France, Frankreich)

David Ganz und Marius Rimmele (Hg.), Klappeffekte. Faltbare Bildträger in der Vormoderne (Bild + Bild, Bd. 4) (Kathrin Müller, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Deutschland)