By all indications Endres DISPOSED OF HIS ENTIRE COLLECTION OF THE DRAWINGS during his lifetime (died 1560). MOST WERE PROBABLY SOLD TO WILLIBALD PIRKHEIMER’S GRANDSON, WILLIBALD IMHOFF THE ELDER (1519-1580) WHO WAS INTENT ON ASSEMBLING AN EXTENSIVE COLLECTION OF Dürer’s works.
ONE NOTABLE EXCEPTION IS the group of drawings suitable as models for goldsmiths that came to the Nuremberg artisan Wenzel Jamnitzer (1508-1585). Some of these drawings later became part part of the Praun Collection, but others were probably purchased by the Earl of Arendel in the 17th century and have since been lost. They survive ONLY AS ETCHED COPIES by Wencel Hollar while in Arendel’s collection.
Agnes Dürerin and Willibald Pikheimer hated each other, she would sell him nothing from Albrecht’s estate. The only group of drawings it’s assumed Pirkheimer owned pertained to the sterometric construction of the human figure. These were intended for the last section of Durer’s book on human proportions, the section Pirkheimer edited and published. PRECISELY these drawings are contained in the so called “Dresden Sketchbook”, a bound volume of diverse sheets, inscribed in Latin on first sheet -some Italian, with “Poor German”at the end of the inscription. Perhaps Willibald gave it to one of his Italian friends.
A few years after Willibald Imhof’s death, Emperor Rudolph II of Prague approached Imhof’s widow and son and offered to trade them the manor of Petschau for their Durer collection, but this didn’t happen. But somehow Rudolph DID acquire a great number of drawings from the Imhoff collection, bound into large albums and records in an inventory of the Imperial Collection circa 1610.
1. AD’s Dueling book
2. two large albums, in white with drawings
3. a folio of sketches of human proportions, bound in red leather
4. probably a posthumous published Latin edition of AD’s book, purchase by imhoff from Christoph Coler, who had sponsored the translation
5. A sketchebook with drawing sin SILVERPOINT, with 3 drawings of birds pasted into it-probably from teh netherlands journey
6. a book of woodcuts and engravings laid down on vellum
7. Engravings by AD and van Leyden
8. Simetria art geomatria, printed in folio
9. Geomatria solo, in folio
10. Various poorer drawings by Dürer and old German masters bound in green vellum
11. an oblong tablet sketchbook with various silverpoint drawings dated from Duerer’s youth
THE DUKE OF BAVARIA
Maximillian, Duke of Bavaria, tried to match Rudolph’s efforts. In Munich, the Duke’s predeliction was PAINTINGS. In 1599 he buys the portion of Emperor Maximillian’s Book of Hours Dürer did for Cardinal Antoine Perento Granvella (1517-1586). The rest of this Book of Hours remains in Granvella’s birthplace, Besancon.
Carel van Mander who viewed Rudolph’s collection wrote “many of his drawings can be seen in connoisseur collections. Lucas d’Heere, who sold to Joris Edmheston in Brielle, had several “portrait drawings heightened in white with brush, a Cardinal, and a nice Virgin done in pen and ink dated 1526 and Dürer’s book human proportion drawings.”
The Thirty Years War almost wiped out the Imhof’s fortunes and they were forced to raise cash by selling their art (nothing changes, huh?) On May 20, 1633, an Amstedam merchant arranged to buy Dürer art from the Imhofs for 3400 Reichstaler. The Imhofs wrote in their diary-not one major work of Dürer was sold,.
ARE THERE UNKNOWN DUERER PAINTINGS OUT THERE?
THIS SALE INCLUDED NUMEROUS PAINTED PANELS, MOST NOW LOST. Drawings listed were: head of rabbit with FOUR EARS, A MAN ON VELLUM, he was Albrecht Dürer’s etcher in Strassburg, MRS PIRKHEIMER KNEELING BEFORE A SMALL ECCO HOMO, a beautiful wing, one foot in height, a leopard on vellum, a parrot with three feathers, WILLIBALD PIRKHEIMER AND HIS WIFE, DRAWN ON CHARCOAL PAPER
THE FAKERY BEGINS
In 1634 the Imhofs sold to Mattheus van Overbeck in Leyden 14 books with illuminations attributed to Dürer from Pirkheimer’s library. ALSO SOME PAINTINGS , among them a picture THE VIRGIN PAINTED IN OILS OF WHICH THE YOUNGER IMHOF NOTED ” my father now deceased, caused Albrecht Dürer’s MONOGRAM TO BE PAINTED BENEATH IT (THE FAKERY BEGINS), but it can not really be attributed to AD.”- we have over painting admitted to! See the three part articles DID THE Dürer’s POISON THEIR CUSTOMERS?
He also got 4 drawings, a scotswoman, a small lion drawn with charcoal, and man with a violin AND A YOUNG MAN AND MAIDEN, DRAWN BY ANTHONI DURER, Dürer’s brother. None are marked with Dürer’s signature, except the lion.
In May 1636, the Imhofs sold the balance of Pirkheimer’s library to Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, the British ammbassador to the Imperial Court of Vienna including other artworks and drawings known to us today becasue of Hollar. Arundel then makes another huge purchase from Joachim Ficefort in Amsterdam, stamped the Tekenigen 1637, now in the Sloane Collection of the Brit museum.
Art dealer of Zurich, August Laube got a Trimuphal Arch of Emperor Maximillian.
Banker Everhard Jabach, born in Cologne but in Paris accumulated a vast collection of paintings and drawings, of which he purchased many from Charles I’s collection in 1652, but Jabach gets into financial trouble and sells 5542 DRAWINGS TO LOUIS XIV, which passed into the Louvre. In 1667, the collection of 123, 400 prints, 0bviously not all Dürer, belonging to Michel de Marolles, Abbe de Villeloin ws acquired by Colbert for Louis XIV. A second collection of Marolles’ of 123,400 and 10,567 drawings were sold, NOW IN THE BIBLIOTECHQUE NATIONALE.
JOACHIM VAN SANDRART (1606-16680), WHO ALSO HAD ONE COPY OF THE FAKE FAMILY CHRONICLE, BESIDE DRAWINGS, BOUGHT Dürer’s burial blot, in which six others had also been buried. He then donated it all to the academie he founded. A part of his collection was acquired by the Margrave of Ansbach.
SIR HANS SLOANE
One of the most prolific collectors was the physican Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1735) who gave all of his collection to the British Museum. From Sloane ‘s stuff derive 4 volumes of Dürer’s literary remains, which include most of the surviving drawings on human proportion. A fifth volume, an album in elephant folio, has been taken apart; Sloane got these at the first sale of the Arendel collection in in 1685,
In Paris, Antoine Coypel (16610- 1722) put the King’s collection in order and contain his initals as marks. Some bear the initals of Robert Cotte, Architect to the King. Several of the drawings found their way into collections of painter Ambrose Crozat, engraver and publisher Pierre Francois Basan, and the Controller of the Chancerllie of France, Jean-Pierre Marriotte ( of the most famous collectors) From the sale of Marriot’s estate, on 1775, 12,504 prints were acquired by the Bibliotecque de Roi.
THE LOOTING BEGINS
in 1784, Adam Bartsch, who is one of the expert catalog raisonnee compilers still in use today, inspected the King’s collections and found proper documentation almost non-existent (so they made provenance stuff up).
The great hoarde of Dürer drawings in the Imperial collection underwent a drastic change in 1796. Duke Albert of Saxony-Teschen, founder of the Albertina, got the young emperor to exchange all of Dürer’s drawings for all the drawings inthe Hofbiblioteck. Many of Duke Alberts’ other drawings derived from the collection at the chateau Beloeil in Belgium of the prince of Ligne who got them from the dissolved cabinets of French noblemen. LOOTING ART EVEN THEN.
Albert continued to purchase drawings from Gelosi (Turin), Birckenstock (Vienna), Richardson (London) and Fried (Vienna), SO ALBERT HAD 12 +371 DRAWINGS of Dürer.
A few others were in Dresden in the King of Saxony’s collection, a handful from the Margrave of Ansbach, some were in the ducal collection of Coberg (the origins of Anton Koberger, aka Coberger) and a single drawing belonged to Catherine the Great.
THEN BEGINS THE GREAT ROBBERY OF THE 19TH CENTURY
in 1821, Duke Albert of Saxony-Teschen had an inventory of 157,952 engravings and 14,184 drawings. At his death a year later, there are ONLY 1145, 959 engravings, and 13,100 drawings.including 200 of Dürer drawings.
Joseph Heller, another catalog raissonnee compiler, who visted the collection and didn’t know the situation, expressed his SURPRISE AT 55 SUPERB Dürer DRAWINGS IN THE HANDS OF THE ART DEALER JOSPEH GRUELING and another 4 in the collectionof Francois Lefebvre, Inspector and Director of Duke Albert’s colllection.
Many other Dürer drawings turned up in the collection of General Androreossy, the French military govenor of Vienna, and collections of Baron Vivant Doninique Denon, Director General of the Musees Imperieraus who was directly responsible to determine which artworks should be moved to Paris. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE WWII?
JOSEPH GRUENLING, THE PREVIOUS GURLITT
The largest portion of the missing drawings seemed to have passed through the hands of Joseph Gruenling, who was an intimate friend of Lefevbre’s. Gruenling offered 77 Dürer drawings to art dealer Ernst Georg Harzen in Hamburg. In 1828 Harzen sold 41 of these to Bremen Senator Dr. Hieronymous Klugist which then got willed to the Bremen Kunsthalle.
But many of the drawings were fed through the collections of Posonyl-Hulot, Klinkosch and Boehm, in Brunswich, Berhnhard Hausmann, whose collection is now in the Nuremberg GermanischeNational Museum, and drawings were given to the Bibliteca Ambrosiana in Milan by the Marchese Fecerico Fagnani in 1838.
Of the missing drawings , many were dispersed passing thru the collections of Sir Thomas Larwence, and that of London art dealer Woodburn to other British collectors (Malcolm, Bale, Roninson, Mitchell) and into France via the Duc d’Aumale, Baron Edmond de Rothschild (now in the Louvre), Dumensil, and Galichon, which have all become part of museum collections, nost of which went to the Berlin Kupfersichkabinett. The last chunk of drawings from Duke Albert’s collection was 24 owned by Prince Lubomirski in Lemberg. It was dispersed after WWII.
In the 20th century at auctions and from private collections, the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett joined Vienna, London, and Paris as the major repository of Dürer drawings. The descendants of Benhard Hausmann, lent their collection in perptuity to the Nuremberg National museum. More than 36 drawings have found their way to America since E.B Crocker first bought the Nude Woman with Herald’s Want to Sacremento in the 1870’s. From the collections of Osborn, Backus, Lehmann, Clark, Rosenwald, Widener, and Sachs, the remaining known works have all passed into public collections in Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, New York, Sacremento, Kansas City, Washington and Williamstown. Today only a handful of drawings remain in private collections.