2007

BE – Fine Arts


Lexikon der Künstlerinnen 1700-1900: Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz [Encyclopedia of Women Artists, 1700-1900: Germany, Austria, Switzerland]. Jochen Schmidt-Liebich. München: Saur, 2005. xvii, 547 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3598116942: EUR 210 [05-2-359]

The fact that women are ignored in the history of the arts, more so in music and the figurative arts than in literature, is not only caused by male hegemony but also by the times. For much of the time covered here, women were not accepted into art schools. Although one tends to come across the same names repeatedly in works published in the last 25 years, some publications manage to include new names. This very comprehensive dictionary contains 3,100 biographies, including professionals and amateurs active in the arts in the German-speaking countries, as well as French-speaking Switzerland, who were active as of 1700 or born by 1850. This high number was reached by consulting various non-gender-specific dictionaries of artists, exhibition catalogs, and other sources, all of which are included in the bibliographies. The length of the articles differs greatly, depending on the amount of information available. Most of the entries include the name, maiden name, life dates, place, art forms, other profession, genealogical information, vita, quotations from reviews, and bibliographies.

In comparison to the popular reference book Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (AKL) (see RREA 9:243-244, 246), which is referenced repeatedly, the Lexikon der Künstlerinnen has far more impressive entries, especially for lesser-known women artists, which suggests that a similar encyclopedia of male artists would also include many names missing in the AKL. On the other hand, the Lexikon der Künstlerinnen includes unexpected entries, such as the one for Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, who is described as a poet, draftswoman, etcher, silhouette-cutter, and collector. The Lexikon der Künstlerinnen, along with the same publisher’s Künstlerlexikon der Antike (see RREA 10:29), is an indispensable complement to the AKL and should be in all academic and large public libraries. [sh/rg]

Reclams Sachlexikon der Kunst [Reclam’s Reference Dictionary of Art]. Ed. Christoph Wetzel. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2007. 497 p. ill. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-15-010601-3: EUR 39.90 [07-2-433]

The author, who published a similar one-volume Reclam-Buch der Kunst in 2001 (see IFB 02-2-349), has assembled a good, useful reference work of over 2,500 terms in art from pre-history to the present. In articles of different (but mainly brief ) extent, the author explains basic terminology, historical periods and regions, trends, artistic groups, genres, themes, architectural styles and elements, and theoretical concepts. The emphasis is on western art.

Established foreign terms are entered as such, with a reference to the German term, and in general, each entry contains one or more cross-references to other terms and concepts. There are some 620 mainly black-and-white illustrations to accompany the articles. The high-quality color illustrations are reserved for paintings, tapestries, and book illustrations. The entries are factual articles and not about individual artists. The index of artists (of works discussed in the book), however, fills some of this gap, although biographical or critical information is brief. In keeping with the nature of this work, the bibliographical references do not point to works of biography or criticism.

These gaps are minor and do not detract from the work’s many assets. Its careful layout and organization, as well as physical construction make it easy to use. The illustrations are of good quality and include many lesser-represented or -known works. The article on ceiling frescoes is by the author’s namesake cousin, who also refurbished the cupola of Dresden’s restored Frauenkirche.

To deepen one’s knowledge or seek more biographical and bibliographical references, one should reach for the time-honored (and sensibly priced) Lexikon der Kunst (Leipzig, 1987-1994–see RRE0 95-4-587), which was also published in 2006 on CD-ROM by Directmedia, in the series Digitale Bibliothek (#43–ISBN 978-3-89853-443-7: EUR 19.90). For the devotee of art history who wishes to enrich her/his visits to museums and monuments, the competently written Reclams Sachlexikon is also worth the money. [cr/ga]

Jüdische Frauen in der bildenden Kunst: ein biographisches Verzeichnis [Jewish Women in the Fine Arts: A Biographical Index]. Hedwig Brenner. Ed. Erhard Roy Wiehn. Konstanz: Hartung-Gorre. 21 cm. [07-1-091]

Vol. 2. 2004. 394 p. ill. + 1 CD-ROM. ISBN 3-89649-913-0: EUR 24.80

Vol. 3. 2006. Ed. Jutta Obenland. 282 p. ill. + 1 CD-ROM. ISBN 3-86628-120-X: EUR 22.50

Hedwig Brenner (maiden name: Langhaus) is a psychotherapist born in 1918 in Czernowitz, an important Jewish cultural center also known as the “Little Vienna on the Prut.” Brenner moved to Israel in 1982. The first volume of this work appeared in 1998 (see RREA 9:247) and included 199 biographies of Jewish women artists of the 20th century.

Volumes 2 and 3 contain 431 and 240 new biographies respectively; the entries vary greatly in length and level of biographical detail. The manuscript editor, Jutta Obenland, added information from Internet searches about the artists, as 70 percent of the artists in this biographical dictionary have Web sites or virtual exhibits online.

Each entry contains the name of the artist, and years of birth and death; the title line also notes if the artist died in the Holocaust. The biographical facts are enriched with detail from interviews, correspondence, conversations with third parties, and Internet pages. The sources of information are not consistently documented in footnotes. The appendix provides an eclectic bibliography on the topics of Jewish Studies, Jewish art, as well as exhibit and museum catalogs. Volume 2 includes a CD-ROM (covering volumes 1-2) with shortened entries and photographs of the artist and her work, where available. Volume 3 includes a CD-ROM with photographs for the artists in that volume.

Jutta Obenland has created a Web site for the artists in volume 2 (http://www.uni-konstanz.de/judaica/kuenstlerinnen; visited 2010-05-05), with the intention of expanding the site to include the artists in volumes 1 and 3. The three-volume set is a good introduction to this area of research, but the dictionary would need to be more comprehensive and better documented to be recommended as an indispensable work of reference. [sh/hm]

Aby Warburg: im Bannkreis der Ideen [Aby Warburg: Under the Influence of Ideas]. Karen Michels. Ed. Christian Olearius, preface by Martin Warnke. München: Beck, 2007. 127 p. ill. 26 cm. ISBN 978-3-406-55885-6: EUR 19.90 [07-1-048]

This brief biography of the renowned German-Jewish art historian Aby Warburg (18661929) focuses on his life and work, rather than on the numerous artists with whom he was associated. The work is free of technical jargon and is noteworthy for its inclusion of numerous photographs from the Warburg Archives in London and Hamburg. There is a brief bibliography of secondary literature, but no index of people or places. [sh/ldl]

Aby-M. Warburg-Bibliographie 1996-2005: Mit Annotationen und mit Nachträgen zur Bibliographie 1866 bis 1995 [...: With Annotations and Additions to the Bibliography for1866-1995]. Björn Biester and Dieter Wuttke. Baden-Baden: Koerner, 2007. xxvi, 272 p. ill. (Bibliotheca bibliographica Aureliana, 213). ISBN 978-3-87320-713-4: EUR 88 [07-1-049]

The original (1866-1995) bibliography was reviewed in RREA 5:87, and this supplement to the previously published bibliography of writings by and about Aby Warburg, his life and legacy, covers the period from 1996-2005. The 1998 work contained 3,184 titles from a 130-year period; the current work adds a further 3,120 titles over a ten-year period. This volume does not include several types of publications that were previously included, such as master’s theses, public lectures, and antiquarian and publishers catalogs. Also, the coverage of Internet material is weak, and there are insufficient annotations. Hence, the bibliography cannot claim to be comprehensive. Indexes of authors and reviewers, names, and subjects cover all parts of the bibliography. [sh/ldl]

Metzler-Lexikon antiker Architektur: Sachen und Begriffe [Metzler Lexicon of Architecture in Antiquity: Topics and Concepts]. Ed. Christoph Höcker. Stuttgart; Weimar: Metzler, 2004. xii, 300 p. 25 cm. ISBN 3-476-01967-5: EUR 49.95 [07-2-446]

This lexicon is aimed at students and teachers, not specialists, of classical studies and of the history of art and architecture. Over 400 articles cover the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans (excluding the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Crete, and Mycenaean Greece) from ca. 900 B.C. to ca. 500 A.D. There are three types of articles: (1) brief dictionarylike entries with cross-references to fuller articles, (2) subject articles of short to medium length, and (3) extensive “core articles” on such central concepts as Architektur [architecture] and Bauwesen [construction]. Other short- to medium-length articles cover such subjects as architectural decoration, construction materials, architectural components, construction techniques, construction tools, individual ancient architectural monuments (e.g., the Parthenon), and even a few biographical entries whose presence is not suggested by the book’s subtitle.

A special feature of the lexicon is that some articles include discussion of the economic and social aspects of architecture and construction techniques. In some cases, the articles conclude with extensive bibliographies of international scholarly literature; a select bibliography completes the volume. There are 230 illustrations.

This is an excellent reference work–not only for its intended reference use, but for extended reading, thanks to the good system of cross references–which can take its place next to Der neue Pauly: Enzyklopädie der Antike (see RREA 4:178 and 6:273). The author, a lecturer in the history of architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, was a co-editor of Der neue Pauly. The foreword should have indicated that more than a few articles written (and more or less revised) for the Pauly, along with some illustrations, reappear in this Lexikon. [sh/rc]

Moderne Architektur A-Z [An A-Z of Modern Architecture]. Ed. Peter Gössel. 2 vols. Hong Kong: Taschen, 2007. 1,071 p. ill. 38 cm. ISBN 978-3-8228-0835-1: EUR 200 [07-2-449]

By the editor of Architektur des 20. Jahrhunderts (see RREA 13:138), this hefty volume features 600 entries and 5,200 illustrations and includes 566 architects. It aims to cover the period 1700-2007, but in practice emphasis is placed on the 20th century. Some entries are several pages long, but all are richly illustrated. Short biographies are included, but no attempt is made to provide an assessment of the architects’ significance. The volume contains an index of architects and architects’ offices. [sh/cjm]

Deutsche Architektur seit 1900 [German Architecture Since 1900]. Wolfgang Pehnt. 2d ed. München: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2006. 592 p. ill. 28 cm. ISBN 3-421-03438-9: EUR 49.90 [07-1-100]

This cultural history of German architecture by renowned historian Wolfgang Pehnt is a masterful introduction to German architecture of the 20th century. The chronically arranged entries begin with the reform of architecture at the beginning of the 20th century, followed by the styles of the Weimar Republic, the grandiose design of Fascist buildings, the re-envisioning of architecture after the destruction of World War II, and the plurality of styles at the close of the century. The building types covered include apartment complexes, industrial halls, churches, museums, and government buildings. The chapters synthesize a lot of information in an easy-to-read language with very helpful footnotes and ample documentation of sources.

The appendix includes a chronology, 300 short biographies of German architects with a history of their employment (but not a list of building projects), and a selected bibliography. The bibliography is arranged by general literature, period, material types, purpose of the building, place name and region, and name of group or institution. There is an index of proper names. The work concludes with an index of buildings and locations. A glossary of terms would have been helpful but is not included. This history is a sophisticated yet easy-to-read introduction to German architecture of the 20th century. [ab/hm]

Architektur des 20. Jahrhunderts [20th-Century Architecture]. Peter Gössel and Gabriele Leuthäuser. 2 vols. Köln: Taschen, 2005. 608 p. ill. 26 cm. ISBN 3-8228-4123-4: EUR 19.99 [07-2-450]

This volume is divided into five chronological chapters (vol. 1: 1773-1916, 18841925, 1912-1941; vol. 2: 1944-1971, 1947-2004). The work is chiefly composed of illustrations. Short texts are sometimes provided, but they are not in general particularly informative. The sole index is of persons. The volume concludes with 80 apparently randomly selected architect biographies (p. 571-604), which really consist only of lists of buildings. As a work of reference, this is inadequate; much more informative is Pehnt’s Deutsche Architektur seit 1900 (see RREA 13:137). [sh/cjm]

Lexikon der Bautypen: Funktionen und Formen der Architektur [Lexicon of Building Types: Functions and Forms of Architecture]. Ed. Ernst Seidl. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2006. 597 p. ill. 16 cm. ISBN 978-3-15-010572-6; ISBN 3-15-010572-2: EUR 24.90 [07-2-453]

Compiled by students at the Art Historical Institute in Tübingen under the direction of Ernst Seidl, this lexicon contains approximately 350 articles on representative building types. Emphasis is placed on Western architecture post-antiquity, but there is also some coverage of classical and Oriental architecture. The interpretation of the term “architecture” in this volume is a broad one, encompassing landscape, industrial, civil, military, and memorial architecture. The articles include information on terms and definitions, and on the evolution of building types. For each entry, an overview of representative examples of the type is given, together with a few suggestions for further reading. [sh/cjm]

Bibliographie der vor 1750 erschienenen deutschen Gartenbücher [Bibliography of German Garden Books Published before 1750]. Ed. Clemens Alexander Wimmer and Iris Lauterbach for the Bücherei des Deutschen Gartenbaues e.V. Berlin. Nördlingen: Uhl, 2003. 278 p. ill. 28 cm. ISBN 3-921503-29-9: EUR 98 [07-1-101]

This bibliography presents literature about gardening published in Germany up to the year 1751, arranged in chronological order. Garden books are defined to include: general books on gardening techniques, books about plants, seasonal calendar books, household management books addressed to men who are heads of household on large estates [Hausväterliteratur], garden architecture, books with patterns, works on copper engravings, garden poetry, dissertations, and books on laws and regulations governing private gardens. Excluded from the bibliography are plant catalogs and books on wine growing, beekeeping, forestry, hunting, and silk manufacturing, as well as journals and broadsides. The bibliography ends with entries for 1750 because another bibliography– Bibliotheca hortensis (Nürnberg, 1861; reprinted Hildesheim, 2002)–covers the period of 1751 to 1860.

The volume is illustrated with black-and-white images of title pages, diagrams of gardens, and images of garden architecture. Given the number of unique names and publications, and given that the most successful gardening books had many editions, the format of the entries and the overall indexing of the volume could have been designed more thoughtfully. Consistent formatting of entries with important factual detail at the top, visual summaries of bestsellers over time, and a comprehensive cross linked index for personal names, professions, titles of books, types of publications, subject terms, and places would make this bibliography an even more valuable research tool.

In spite of minor misgivings about the organization of the work, this is a groundbreaking attempt at bibliographic control for pre-1750 publications on aspects of gardening, and the bibliography will serve as an indispensable foundation for historical research on the history and theory of gardens and gardening. [sh/hm]

Gartendenkmalpflege: Literaturdokumentation; eine Fachbibliografie [Preservation of Landscape Monuments: Documentation of the Literature: A Subject Bibliography]. Ulrike Stark. Stuttgart. Fraunhofer-Informationszentrum Raum und Bau IRB, 2000. 65 leaves. 30 cm. (IRB-Literaturdokumentation, 2341). Publishing on demand, 2006. ISBN 978-3-8167-2264-9: EUR 40 (.html version via e-mail) [07-1-102]

This newest in the series of subject bibliographies produced by the Fraunhofer Informationszentrum Raum und Bau (IRB) [Fraunhofer Information Center for Planning and Building], contains 300 citations to monographs and articles published from 1994-2006. The entries are arranged by year of publication but are not strictly chronological, because they do not give the exact date of publication. The bibliography does not include an index, and entries are not cross-referenced.

The scope of the Fraunhofer IRB is much larger than monument preservation; according to its website its mission includes providing technical, planning and economic information from the fields of civil engineering, architecture, building design, building law and industry, town planning, and housing and spatial planning. The bibliography is, in fact, a partial subject-specific dataset from the Frauenhofer bibliographic database. An up-to-date bibliography on monument preservation is accessible at the Frauenhofer website. [sh/hm]

Meisterwerke der Gartenkunst [Masterpieces of Horticulture]. Gabriele Uerscheln. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2006. 340 p. ill. 16 cm. ISBN 978-3-15-010594-8: EUR 14.90 [07-1-103]

The author, Gabriele Uerscheln, has been manager since 2002 of the Museum für Europäische Gartenkunst [Museum for European Horticulture] in Castle Benrath near Düsseldorf. Her 2003 Wörterbuch der europäischen Gartenkunst [Dictionary of European Horticulture] is reviewed below [see RREA 13:144]. This Masterpieces manual contains examples of the 101 best gardens in Europe from antiquity up to the present. The description of each garden ranges from one to five pages with a black-and-white photo of the garden. The length of the description does not have any reflection on the importance of the garden. Only major references and literature sources are listed (p. 331-336); it would be helpful if this list were updated. There is also a list of the gardens (p. 337-338). [sh/sas]

DuMont-Geschichte der Gartenkunst: von der Renaissance bis zum Landschaftsgarten [DuMont History of Horticulture: From the Renaissance to the Landscape Park]. Wilfried Hansmann and Kerstin Walter. Photographs by Florian Monheim. Köln: DuMont-Literatur-und-Kunst-Verlag, 2006. 352 p. ill. 28 cm. ISBN 978-3-8321-7670-9: EUR 49.90 [07-1-108]

This manual is another illustrated book on the history of horticulture from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century. The section on the history of building gardens is the highlight of this manual. The brief introduction to horticulture in antiquity and the Middle Ages could have been omitted, because it does not add much to the overall theme of the book. Throughout the volume there are photos taken by the brilliant photographer Florian Monheim. The chapters cover gardens of the Renaissance and the Baroque in Italy, gardens of the Renaissance in France, gardens of the Renaissance and the early Baroque in Germany, gardens of the Baroque in the Netherlands, gardens of the Baroque and Rococo periods in the German-speaking areas (the longest chapter), and landscape parks in England, France, and Germany. An appendix with glossary offers brief definitions of words as well relatively detailed explanations of some professional terms. There is an index of persons, but unfortunately not of places. [sh/sas]

Wörterbuch der europäischen Gartenkunst [Dictionary of European Horticulture]. Gabriele Uerscheln and Michaela Kalusok. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2003. 286 p. ill. 16 cm. ISBN 3-15-010523-4: EUR 12.90 [07-1-112]

Why, in just two years, this dictionary of European horticulture has grown by one centimeter from the 2001 hardbound Concise Dictionary of European Horticulture (see RREA 7:146) to a not-concise, paperback Dictionary, only the publisher knows. This is an unrevised edition, and it is regrettable that no errors or flaws from the 2001 volume have been corrected, no attention paid to ecological/environmental movements, and no outstanding contemporary gardens in Europe included.

Many of the 65 entries in the index “Selected Gardens of Europe” (p. 279-81) are also treated in the author’s more recent work Meisterwerke der Gartenkunst (see RREA 13:142). Had the suggestions in the 2001 review been incorporated into this edition, the Concise Dictionary might have been transformed into a Comprehensive Dictionary. [sh/ga]

Gärten in Europa: ein Handbuch für Reisende. Charles Quest-Ritson. Translated from the English by Sabine Hesemann. Stuttgart: Ulmer, 2007. xvi, 382 p. ill. 29 cm. ISBN 978-3-8001-4867-7: EUR 39.90 [07-1-113]

Gardens of Europe: A Traveller’s Guide. Charles Quest-Ritson. Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Garden Art Press, 2007. xv, 382 p. ill. maps. 29 cm. ISBN: 978-1-870673-55-6: $45

The most significant way in which the newest incarnation of this guide to European gardens differs from its 1992 predecessor is the larger amount of attention dedicated to historic gardens in East and Central Europe. The material is arranged in eleven regional sections, beginning with Italy and ending with South-East Europe. Each section is provided with a generous number of maps that show the locations of the historic gardens. In total the book enumerates 597 gardens, the largest number of which (130) are located in Great Britain and Ireland.

Individual articles begin with a brief general description of the garden, followed by its history and special characteristics (such as the plants that are featured there) and conclude with the location, hours, and other contact and service information. Since the articles provide only the most basic introduction to the unique characteristics of the historic sites, it would be advisable to consult the official Web site of each garden before planning a visit.

The German translation is very uneven, and it is frequently necessary to consult the English-language original for clarity.

While the 1992 edition contained brief biographies of the creators of the gardens, a glossary and a bibliography, the new one dispenses with these useful appendices in favor of an index of plant collections. The compilers also offer a brief selection of the Most Beautiful Gardens of Europe that is organized by region and suffers from inconsistent indexing. [sh/as]

Garten-Reiseführer: 400 private und 900 öffentliche Gärten und Parks in Deutschland [Garden Guide for Travelers: 400 Private and 900 Public Gardens and Parks in Germany]. Ronald Clark for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gartenkunst und Landschaftskultur e.V. München: Callwey. 21 cm. [07-1-115]

Vol. 5. 2006/07. 2005. 640 p. ill. ISBN 3-7667-1644-1: EUR 19.95

This series first appeared in 1998 and has been published biennially since then. The edition under review here contains short descriptions of 1,300 German gardens and parks, 900 of which are accessible to the public. It is unclear what criteria were used in the selection of private gardens. The entries are arranged alphabetically by German Land [state], which is impractical when looking for a particular site. There is one map per section showing the locations of gardens; unfortunately, these are not precise enough to be useful. The average entry is half a page long and contains the history and description of the garden. Contact information is also made available. Some entries come with a black-and-white photograph of the site. The appendix provides a listing of places participating in “Open Gates,” a government initiative to promote the visiting of private gardens. The index lists all the entries arranged by type of garden (botanical, rose, spa, etc.) [sh/as]

Schlösser und Gärten in Potsdam und Umgebung: Bibliographie [Castles and Gardens in Potsdam and Vicinity]. Dorothee Geßner and Hannelore Röhm. Potsdam: Stadt- und Landesbibliothek Potsdam; Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, 1998. 264 p. 21 cm. ISBN: 3-00-003448-X: EUR 12. (Stadt- und Landesbibliothek Potsdam, Postfach 601464, D-14414 Potsdam) [07-1-117]

This bibliography features the holdings of printed sources on Potsdam-area castles and gardens available in six local collections (most of which are not accessible to the public). Albeit limited to German-language publications, it contains a wide array of titles, including monographs and articles from scholarly journals and newspapers. There are 2,859 total entries organized into five large sections: (1) General Presentations, (2) Castle Management and Exhibits, (3) The Sanssouci Park, (4) Other Castles and Gardens, and (5) Families and Personalities, with further subdivisions. The book is illustrated with numerous reproductions of castle and garden landscapes, in addition to a map of the city with the locations indicated on it. The indexes at the end of the volume suffer from faulty cross-referencing, which limits their usefulness to researchers. In spite of this shortcoming, many libraries across Germany will find this book a useful addition to their holdings. [aw/as]

Königliche Gartenbibliothek ehemals zu Schloß Herrenhausen bei Hannover: Versteigerung Dienstag, 25. Oktober [The Royal Garden Library, Formerly in Herrenhausen Castle near Hanover: Auction on Tuesday, October 25]. Königstein im Taunus: Reiss & Sohn, 2005. 204 p. ill. 30 cm. (Auktion/Reiss & Sohn, 100). EUR 45 [07-1-126]

This is a catalog of an auction that never took place. After the proposed sale of Herrenhausen Castle’s Royal Garden Library collection to the Lower Saxony State Library (now the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library) in the 1960s fell through, sometime around the year 2000 the books found a buyer in England who then commissioned an auction catalog. But before the auction could take place, the culture ministries of Hesse (where the auction house was located) and Lower Saxony joined forces to have the collection placed on Germany’s register of national cultural treasures, thus barring any sale of the books outside Germany, and drastically shrinking the books’ resale value. In the end, the Leibniz Library received only the 51-item manuscript collection and 68 printed books, mostly of regional interest; the rest (some 710 titles) went to the university library at Frankfurt and Weimar’s Anna-Amalia Library.

The catalog therefore stands as the record of a now-divided collection. Besides the accession book (now at the Leibniz Library) with entries from 1857 to 1913, and many drawings and plans relating to Herrenhausen Castle and its grounds, the collection features richly illustrated works on botany, runs of journals, and many books in English (befitting the region’s dynastic connection to the British royal family). Plans are being made to digitize the Leibniz Library holdings for display on the Internet. [sh/gw]

Historische Gärten Österreichs: Garten- und Parkanlagen von der Renaissance bis um 1930 [Historic Gardens of Austria: Gardens and Parks from the Renaissance to 1930]. Eva Berger. Vienna: Böhlau. 25 cm. [07-1-142]

Vol. 1. Niederösterreich, Burgenland [Lower Austria, Burgenland]. 2002. 746 p. ill. ISBN 3-205-99305-5: EUR 89

Vol. 2. Oberösterreich, Salzburg, Vorarlberg, Kärnten,Steiermark, Tirol [Upper Austria, Salzburg, Vorarlberg, Carinthia, Styria, Tyrol]. 2003. 751 p. ill. ISBN 3-205-99352-7: EUR 89

Vol. 3. Wien [Vienna]. 2004. 569 p. ill. ISBN 3-205-99353-5: EUR 89

A massive and unprecedented inventory of gardens and parks in Austria before 1930, this work draws on sources such as Österreichische Kunsttopgraphie [Topography of Austrian Art] (Wien, 1907-1999), Dehio-Handbuch. Die Kunstdenkmäler Österreichs (see RREA 10:125-127), and the Franziszeische Katastralvermessung, the land registry conducted in Austria-Hungary from 1817 to 1861. Each volume begins with a general introduction depicting the state of research at the start of the project, criteria and methods of selection, suggestions for use, and further research needs. There follows a section of text references that would have benefited from systematic organization. Entries for garden sites are arranged by state and sub-arranged by category. Each volume contains indexes for places, artists/gardeners, and other persons. Unfortunately, maps are not provided. [aw&sh/gw]

Harenberg-Kulturführer: Malerei [Harenberg Cultural Guide: Painting]. Ed. Dirk Michel. Mannheim: Meyers Lexikonverlag, 2008 [i.e. 2007]. 799 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-411-07821-9: EUR 50 [07-2-463]

A significant number of volumes in the unnumbered Harenberg-Kulturführer series were covered in RREA 12:105-106, and RREA 12:147-150, as well as in previous years. One can assume that the material in this guide is recycled from earlier Harenberg volumes, which the Bibliographisches Institut and F.A. Brockhaus took over in 2006 and reduced to a standard length of 799 pages. The title under review contains articles on more than 250 painters; the texts remain generally unchanged from those of the Harenberg-Malerlexikon (see IFB 02-2-357) but are often shorter and without bibliographical citations. The original work covered nearly four times as many painters. The space freed up is devoted to descriptions of more than 370 famous paintings with color reproductions. The reproductions are good, as they were in the Harenberg-Museum der Malerei.

The glossary is completely different from the one in the Harenberg-Malerlexikon, which also included a comprehensive index of artists, other persons, and the museums that hold the paintings. Harenberg-Museum der Malerei had an extensive bibliography, which is not included in the new Harenberg-Kulturführer Malerei. However, there is an index of works. Libraries that have the earlier volumes have no reason to acquire this one.

The recycling of Harenberg works does not end with this series. Brockhaus is collaborating with Zeitverlag Gerd Bucerius to produce Die Zeit, der große Kulturführer (see RREA 13:23). A comparison of the Harenberg with the fifth volume (Malerei) of the Zeit series shows that the main part of the former Harenberg was taken over unchanged and only has an introduction from Die Zeit. The glossary is missing, and there is a section Zeit-Aspekte (p. 782-856) that consists mainly of reports of exhibits written between 1955 and 2007. The information is not as up-to-date as one might expect from collaboration with a newspaper. An index of works is included at the end. [sh/gh]

40.000 Meisterwerke: Malerei, Grafik, Zeichnung; die größte Kunstsammlung, die man kaufen kann! [40,000 Masterpieces: Painting, Graphic Art, Drawing: The Greatest Art Collection One Can Buy!]. Berlin: Yorck Projekt, 2007. 2 DVD-ROMs in container 25 x 20 x 4 cm. ISBN 978-3-936122-35-0: EUR 49.90 [07-1-144]

1000 Gemälde, die jeder haben muss [1,000 Must-Have Paintings]. Berlin: Directmedia, 2007. 1 CD-ROM. (Kleine digitale Bibliothek, 5). ISBN 978-3-89853-305-8: EUR 9.90 [07-1-145]

Meisterwerke der Landschaftsmalerei [Masterpieces of Landscape Painting]. Berlin: Directmedia, 2007. 1 CD-ROM. (Kleine digitale Bibliothek, 21). ISBN 978-3-89853-321-8: EUR 9.90 [07-1-146]

40.000 Meisterwerke, published by the Yorck Project (the publishing arm of the Digitale Bibliothek), brings to the computer monitor, on two DVDs, European and non-European painting and graphic art from pre-history through antiquity to the beginning of classical modernity (up to ca. 1930). 40.000 replaces the earlier 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei [10,000 Masterpieces of Painting] published in 2001 (see RREA 8:154) on 11 CD-ROMs, with obviously great expansion in content, searching, and storage.

Art from the Far East, Africa, and the Orient (China, Japan, Africa, India, and Egypt) is included, keeping in step with globalization and current trends in exhibits. That the period ends ca. 1930 is regrettable, but this is due to copyright restrictions. Thus only artists who died before 1937 could be included, with the result that incunabula of modern and contemporary art are missing. For each image data are given on the technique employed, its measurements, the date it was completed, and where it is housed. The entire database is browsable by artist, title, style, and period, with further limiters available, such as where created, alternative name, and name of collection. The captions and the introductory texts are keyword-searchable. The images are downloadable.

A random sample of the contents reveals that many works have outdated descriptions from catalogs that can date back to as early as 1945. In some cases, these descriptions repeat mistakes or facts in dispute. The selection among individual artists may not always be the most representative or include enough of the artist’s masterpieces and more secondary works than necessary. Then again, the question of what constitutes a masterpiece is not as easy to define as the editors of 40.000 might imply.

1000 Gemälde extracts many works from the larger 40.000 and presents a survey of the important currents in painting throughout, and a representative selection of works by the most important painters in art history. As with the former, the editors of 1000 see it as a museum for the home. However, one may question whether this idea could fulfill users’ raised expectations. Exceptionally good representative works may not get included, and confusion might arise about exact boundaries between styles or the proper period in which to place a particular artist.

While European artists are classified in one period or another (Gothic, Late Gothic; Impressionism, Postimpressionism), art from the rest of the world is classified by geography, national culture, or epoch. The selection of these particular artists and pictures may inadvertently create or imply a certain canon of important artists. Rather, one should assume that selection criteria reflect reasons of economy and of copyright, and that every generation re-creates its own canon.

Meisterwerke der Landschaftmalerei is a selection of 1,350 paintings from 40.000. There are 45 pages of cursory expositions on the concept, origin, and development of an autonomous European landscape-painting genre from antiquity to the late 19th century. The chapter concludes with a two-page bibliography of core publications from the past ten years. Unfortunately the publisher does not provide any further criteria for the selection of paintings beyond the cutoff date of 1900. Higher licensing fees for rights to reproduce paintings after 1900 may have excluded many important newer masterpices.

However, this collection is a rich survey and a distinctly helpful visual guide to the genre of landscape painting. The ability to search by key word enables the user to assemble a collection of works with a particular feature in common. Lastly, it would have been helpful to include East Asian landscape works as a source of inspiration for European artists of the 19th century. [cr/ga]

Geschichte der klassischen Bildgattungen in Quellentexten und Kommentaren: Historienmalerei, Porträt, Landschaftsmalerei, Genremalerei, Stillleben [History of Classical Painting Genres in Source Texts and Commentaries: History Painting, Portraiture, Landscape Painting, Genre Painting, Still Life]. Ed. Kunsthistorisches Institut der Freien Universität Berlin. Berlin: Directmedia, 2007. 1 CD-ROM. (Digitale Bibliothek, 158). ISBN 978-3-89853-558-8: EUR 45 [07-1-147]

This CD-Rom edition of the well-regarded five-volume Geschichte der klassischen Bildgattungen [History of Classical Painting Genres] contains the unaltered full text of the print edition. It is an extremely useful and effective tool for searching quotations and sources.

The tables of contents for the five print volumes are reproduced in a hyperlinked tree structure on the start screen of the digital version, allowing easy browsing, and multiple searching and sorting options are built in. Simple full-text searching by keyword provides ready access to the source texts and commentaries; complex search queries can also be constructed. Search results are listed clearly with direct links to the text. For a quick overview, the source texts are indexed in tables by author, original text, period, and genre, and columns are sortable by mouse click.

Some of the black-and-white illustrations accompanying the commentary in the print edition have been replaced with color ones here. The 114 illustrations in the CD-Rom edition are hyperlinked to the commentary on the source texts and treatises; a click renders an unobtrusive preview image, which can be enlarged.

This digital version adds real value to the print edition and is well worth the reasonable price. [cr/kw]


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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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