The Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History promotes scientific research in the field of Italian and global history of art and architecture. Established as a private foundation by Henriette Hertz (1846–1913), it was inaugurated in 1913 as a research center of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft. Today, the Bibliotheca Hertziana is part of the Human Sciences Section of the Max Planck Society and is considered one of the world's most renowned research institutes for art history.

Cities and Spaces in Premodernity

The research of the department Michalsky revolves around questions concerning historical concepts of space and their transformation in Premodernity. One geographical area of special interest in this context is Southern Italy, specifically Naples and the Mediterranean region.

Art of the Modern Age in a Global Context

The research focus of the department Weddigen lies on the global ramifications of Italian art from the early modern period to modernism, in the expansion of the Bibliotheca Hertziana's research activities toward modern and contemporary art, in questions of materiality and mediality, in the intellectual history of the discipline of art history and in digital art history.

Scientific Resources: Library

The library holds one of the world's most important collections of research and source literature on the post-antique art and cultural history of Italy and the Mediterranean region, as well as an archive of literary bequests. First created in the late 19th century as the library of Henriette Hertz, founder of the Bibliotheca Hertziana, the collection today ranges from rare incunabula to genuine digital publications.

Scientific Resources: Photographic Collection

The Photographic Collection holds more than 870,000 photographs and negatives along with digital images of Italian art from the late antique period until the present day. The core areas of the collection include Roman topography, the Artists department, architectural drawings and drawings after the antique and the complete Corpus Photographicum of Drawings (Corpus Gernsheim).

Current Information


Library and photographic collection are accessible again at maximum capacity and without prior reservations from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m non-stop. Library users must be in possession of a valid Green Pass and wear a protective mask covering nose and mouth at all times inside the building.

Holiday Closure

The Library and Photographic Collection will be closed on December, 8 and from December, 24, 2021 until January, 2, 2021.

New opening hours 2022

From 03.01.2022 the library and photographic collection will be open Mondays to Fridays from 9am-7pm. 


From September 28, 2021 to January 23, 2022, the Sala del Disegno of the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History will host not only its usual art books but also artists' books: volumes transformed into art works by eight ...

Videos of our events

A selcetion of recordings of our events are available on our Vimeo channel. If you cannot find what you're looking for, please contact .


Rudiments and Revenants: Warburg, Darwin and the Biology of Gesture

Matthew Vollgraff
Online event via Zoom and on site (previous registration)
Dec 13, 2021 14:00 - 16:00

The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Humans, and Race in the Renaissance

Mackenzie Cooley
Online event via Zoom and on site (previous registration)
Dec 16, 2021 15:00 - 17:00
Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom

"Vigna Iulia, che egli fece fare con spese incredibili". Nuove ricerche sul cantiere architettonico e decorativo di Villa Giulia e le sue trasformazioni nei secoli

Dec 21, 2021 14:00 - Dec 22, 2021 17:00
Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia (Piazzale di Villa Giulia 9, Roma)

New Publications


Ach, Mensch! | Tanja Michalsky über die Stadt

Tanja Michalsky erforscht Städte, indem sie Karten, Stadtpläne oder Beschreibungen in historischen Reiseführern analysiert. Wie zeigt sich Macht im Stadtbild? Wer darf wohin? Und wie hat sich ihr Forschungsschwerpunkt Neapel ergeben?

Hertziana Insights

The video series Hertziana Insights presents selected research projects of the Bibliotheca Hertziana. The first two episodes of the series are dedicated to the research initiative Rome Contemporary. Every video is available in Italian, German, and English.

Lecture in memory of Henriette Hertz by Giovanna Zapperi

Towards a Media History of the Women’s Liberation Movement. Delphine Seyrig and Early Video in France.
This lecture is based on the ongoing research and exhibition project on the legacy of French actress, video maker and activist Delphine Seyrig.
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