Mission

Mission

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

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

Art of the Modern Age in a Global Context

The research focus of the department Weddigen lies in 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.

Visualizing Science in Media Revolutions

Visualizing Science in Media Revolutions

The research group examines how new developments of communication (like the printing press) and observation (like new optical instruments) in the late middle ages and early modern time period interacted with each other and how they thereby created a new culture of visualizing science.
 

Decay, Loss, and Conservation in Art History

Decay, Loss, and Conservation in Art History

For centuries, Western artworks have been cared for in the hope of preserving them for as long as possible. Even so, over their lives objects deteriorate and risk being displaced or destroyed. How do communities safeguard endangered objects? And how do art historians study images that are no longer extant? Our group addresses these questions theoretically, historically, and materially, to tackle how the instability of objects shapes the way we handle, think, and write about them.

Scientific Resources: Library

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

Scientific Resources: Photographic Collection

With a collection of more than 1,300,000 photographs, negatives, digital images and digitized material, primarily on Italian art and architecture from late antique until the present day, the Photographic Collection is one of the world's leading art historical photo archives. Scientific photographic campaigns using state-of-the-art technology support the research at the institute, anticipate research projects, and define new standards for documentary photography.

Current Information

News

The Kupferstichkabinett Berlin owns two spectacular albums with around 160 drawings by the Dutch artist Maarten van Heemskerck (1498–1574), executed in Rome between 1532 and 1536/37. During these years he wandered through the city, visited collections of antiquities, made pilgrimages to the holy sites, and filled his sketchbook with drawings.

Visual Narratives of the Italian South features a selection of archival materials from the Archivio Franco Pinna (Roma) in dialogue with works from Alessia Rollo’s Parallel Eyes project. The exhibition is part of Viviana Costagliola's postdoctoral research project “Viaggio al Sud” The Representation of Southern Italy in Photographic Reportage and Tourism Promotion Photography after World War II, supported by the Michalsky department.

Opening Hours & Admission

Please note our updated opening hours and terms of admission. More

Videos of our events

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

Events

Picturing Sainthood: Images and the Making of Saints in Early Modern Global Catholicism

Conference
Public event without registration
Jun 19, 2024 03:00 PM (Local Time Germany) - Jun 21, 2024 05:30 PM
Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rome and online (only keynote lectures)

Disintegration and Formation of Medieval Compounds with Towers in Trogir

Ana Plosnić Škarić
Public event without registration
Jul 10, 2024 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rome and online

New Publications


Studi della Bibliotheca Hertziana
Einzelveröffentlichungen & Kooperationen
Publications outside the series & Cooperations
Römische Studien der Bibliotheca Hertziana
Quaderni della Bibliotheca Hertziana
Studi della Bibliotheca Hertziana
Studi della Bibliotheca Hertziana
Quaderni della Bibliotheca Hertziana
Bellori Edition
Heinrich Wölfflin – Complete Works
Bellori Edition

Media


Supporting Scholars at Risk

Supporting Scholars at Risk

Video
This video portrays seven Ukrainian and Russian fellows whom the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Institute for Art History, Rome welcomes and supports as contribution to the #ScienceForUkraine initiative since the beginning of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The fellows tell us about their past, present, and future from a professional and personal point of view. Their fields of research and their personal experience remind us once more that peace is a precious privilege and that freedom is the foundation of all research activity.
Ach, Mensch! | Sietske Fransen über wissenschaftliches Mikroskopieren

Ach, Mensch! | Sietske Fransen über wissenschaftliches Mikroskopieren

Podcast
Was haben Forscher und Forscherinnen gesehen, als sie vor 300 Jahren durch die ersten Mikroskope geguckt haben? Und was sehen wir heute beim Mikroskopieren durch die alten und durch moderne Geräte? Sietske Fransen vom Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Rom ist eine, die es ausprobiert.
Now We Have Seen. Women and Art in 1970s Italy

Now We Have Seen. Women and Art in 1970s Italy

Video
The film traces the work of Italian women artists in the 1970s and links it to the theoretical discourses and social achievements of the feminist movement, which, like no other protest movement in this period, had an enduring impact upon Italian society. 
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