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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
May 18, 2020
We regret that the Institute's Library and Photographic Collection for the time being will remain closed to external users, also after May 18. We are working on a plan for a limited opening in order to guarantee the highest possible safety standards for our staff and users. We will announce the date as soon as possible on this website and through our other information channels
April 16, 2020
The Photographic Collection continues to accept orders during the current closure of the Institute, as long as the requested material is already available in digital form. Orders may be submitted via e-mail to: email@example.com. Please refer to our digital photo archive.
Dieter Graf, former head of the Photographic Collection of the Bibliotheca Hertziana, passed away on 9 April 2020.
Dieter Graf was one of the most important connoisseurs of the art of Italian drawing, especially Roman drawing, in the 17th and 18th centuries. In this field, his publications, each in two volumes, on Guglielmo Cortese and Giovan Battista Gaulli (1976), Giacinto Calandrucci (1986) and Giuseppe Passeri (1995) remain essential. His scientific interests have also focused on Carlo Maratta and Pietro da Cortona.
In 1980, Dieter Graf assumed the position of director of the Fototeca of the Bibliotheca Hertziana, a role he held until 2000. Here, the comprehensive expansion of the drawing department was particularly close to his heart and it is his great merit to have laid the foundations for one of the world's most recognized collections of photographs for the study of drawings.