Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History

Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History

The Bibliotheca Hertziana is recognized internationally as a unique centre dedicated to research in Italian art history. Having emerged from a foundation championed by Henriette Hertz (1846–1913), it was opened in 1913 as an institute of the former Kaiser Wilhelm Society in Rome. The current Institute is committed to research in the visual arts and architecture from antiquity to the 20th century, and the significance this holds for European culture. The Institute has traditionally focused on the Renaissance and Baroque eras. During the past few years, a research database for Roman painting and one for architectural drawings have been put into operation at the Institute. Further projects cover the Epistemic History of Architecture, cultural transfer with Northern Europe and the history of the Institute.

Contact

Via Gregoriana 28
00187 Rom, Italien
Phone: +39 0669993 1
Fax: +39 0669993 333

PhD opportunities

This institute has no International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).

There is always the possibility to do a PhD. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Intricate brightness

Intricate brightness

January 15, 2013
After ten years of construction, the Bibliotheca Hertziana has opened its new premises. More than 300 guests from the German-Italian cultural life, politics and Curia attended the ceremony in Rome. more
Caravaggio is one of the most influential artists of the Early Baroque. He is especially well known for his dramatic lighting effects. The technique he used to create these was something he guarded like a trade secret. As a result, legends surrounded the painter even during his lifetime. Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, Director at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, has taken on the task of demystifying Caravaggio’s image.
The gaping, terrifying jaws of hell in Rome’s Via Gregoriana: in Federico Zuccari’s day, the entryway led directly into the garden of the palazzo that the famous painter commissioned on Pincian Hill for himself and his family in the late 16th century. Long closed to the public, the palazzo was reopened at the beginning of the year and now serves as a portal to paradise for art historians and all who are interested in art history. Rising behind lofty heritage-protected walls and barely visible from the street, a compact yet finely wrought new building is home to a library containing almost 300,000 volumes and the photographic collection of the Bibliotheca Hertziana. Bequeathed to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in the early 20th century by patron Henriette Hertz, the Bibliotheca Hertziana is celebrating its centennial this year as the Max Planck Institute for Art History. In addition to the Palazzo Zuccari, the centerpiece of the institute, the current premises also include the neighboring Palazzo Stroganoff and the Villino Stroganoff on the opposite side of the street. Following the opening of the spectacular new library building designed by Spanish architect Juan Navarro Baldeweg after more than ten years in construction, the institute library – the only one of its kind in the world – is once again open to the public and to researchers from around the globe. Five levels of tiered galleries are grouped around a trapezoidal inner courtyard, providing scholars with light-flooded working areas. In addition, the windows offer a generous view over the Eternal City: art historians thus have the object of their research directly before their eyes. A truly paradisiacal garden for academic pursuits.
In the early years of the 20th century, artists, scientists and academics of all walks, united in their love for Italian art, gathered frequently at the Palazzo Zuccari. Hostess of this cultural salon was a German art lover and patron, Henriette Hertz. Her ideas still live on today at the Bibliotheca Hertziana, which she bequeathed to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society.
No job offers available
In missionizing the New World, works of art propagated Catholic faith and served as examples for the right cult of images. When Rosa de Santa María from Lima was beatified in 1668 and canonized in 1671, her iconographic persona needed to be created and propagated. A painting by Lazzaro Baldi and a marble sculpture by Melchiorre Cafà show that the balance of power between papal Rome and Spanish Lima was negotiated by artistic means and that issues of materiality and idolatry were considered from a transcultural point of view. more

Around 1600, modern landscape painting blossomed as a distinct artistic genre. A research project at the Bibliotheca Hertziana explores the diverse ways in which Netherlandish artists in Rome contributed to this development. From the comparison of exemplary artistic careers, it becomes evident that the new perception of landscape did not only result from an intensive study of nature, but also from the cultural exchanges catalyzed by the experience of migration.

more

Historical spaces can be reconstructed only as conveyed by their representations in various media. In addition to selected case studies reconstructing pre-modern spaces in southern Italy and Naples, a project at the Bibliotheca Hertziana particularly addresses historical spatial constructions themselves. Investigating the interplay of several media that construct space, the project traces the historical process through which the spaces were collectively perceived and defined. The aim is to develop a dynamic model of space that situates art historical objects in a more nuanced manner.

more

Roma communis patria. The national churches in Rome from the Middle Ages to the modern era

2015 Kubersky-Piredda, Susanne; Daniels, Tobias
Cultural Studies

The Minerva Research Group at the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck Institute for Art History, examines the National Churches of Rome from the Middle Ages to the modern era. Central to its work is the question of how collective identities were developed in the Eternal City and expressed through art. An interdisciplinary team of scholars seeks to present for the first time ever a comprehensive analysis of the foreign communities of Rome and their art in order to illustrate the historical foundations of Europe via the Roman example.

more
The German Warburg-Kreis art historians’ language had been transformed due to their forced exile in English-speaking countries. How has the study of visual arts been influenced by languages rooted in different cultural traditions? Research focuses on the way Aby Warburg’s approach altered in the works of his first intellectual heirs. more
Go to Editor View