Born from the cosmopolitan spirit of its founder Henriette Hertz (1846-1913), the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History has since established itself as a world-renowned research institute for the study of Italian art history. The Bibliotheca Hertziana, founded in Rome on January 13, 1913 as a research institute for Italian art history, is one of the oldest institutes of the Max Planck Society (successor to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft) and the first one with a focus on the humanities.

The Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History owes its existence to Cologne-born Henriette Hertz (1846–1913) and has been located in the Palazzo Zuccari on the slopes of the Pincian Hill, just above the Spanish Steps, since its foundation. [more]
At the turn of the century, Henriette Hertz began establishing a center for art historical studies. Together with the art historian Ernst Steinmann (1866–1934), who advised her on the creation of a book collection on Italian, and especially Roman art, she finally developed the concept of the future Bibliotheca Hertziana as a research institute dedicated to the study of Italian – and above all Roman – art history. [more]
The foundation of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (Kaiser Wilhelm Society) in 1911 gave Henriette Hertz the opportunity to establish her library as the second German research institution in Rome – alongside the "Prussian Historical Station" (today the German Historical Institute, DHI). [more]
The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 led to the closure of the institute and in the following year to its seizure by the Italian state. [more]
After the Nazi takeover in Germany in 1933, the Federal Foreign Office approached the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft to recommend the appointment of art historian and long-time NSDAP member Werner Hoppenstedt as deputy director and successor to Ernst Steinmann. [more]
On its return to the Federal Republic of Germany, the Bibliotheca Hertziana became an institute of the Max Planck Society, the successor to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft. [more]
In 1962, Wolfgang Lotz was appointed successor to Count Franz Wolff Metternich. Otto Lehmann-Brockhaus, the former head of the library and cofounder of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte at Munich, was appointed head of the library following Ludwig Schudt's untimely death. [more]
In 1977, Matthias Winner and Christoph Luitpold Frommel were appointed as academic members of the Max Planck Society and directors at the Hertziana. [more]
Sybille Ebert-Schifferer succeeded Matthias Winner in 2001. Her research focused on painting and the visual arts of the early modern period, such as Bolognese and Roman painting – in particular Caravaggio. [more]
Am 15. Januar 2013 wurde das neue Bibliotheksgebäude nach dem Entwurf von Juan Navarro Baldeweg feierlich eröffnet. Kurz darauf feierte die Bibliotheca Hertziana ihr 100-jähriges Bestehen. [more]
Go to Editor View