Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann: Central European Drawings, 1680–1800: A Selection from American Collections

Kaufmann Central European Drawings cropped

Central European Drawings, 1680–1800: A Selection from American Collections

Princeton University Art Museum, 1989

Central Europe occupies a prominent place in many realms of 18th-century culture. This volume is the catalogue of an exhibition of drawings, organized in 1989 by the Princeton University Art Museum, which presents some of the little-known accomplishments of artists from the region of present-day Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

The illustrated introduction to the catalogue provides the first available survey of drawings of the period in English. The essay considers the historiographic situation, the historical conditions in which the drawings were made, the increased significance of drawings in the 18th century in relation to academies, amateur draftsmen, art theory, practice, and collecting; questions of genre, function, and style; and finally the context of the study and collecting of Central European drawings in the United States.

The drawings in the exhibition include important works by artists such as Cosmas Damian Asam, Egid Quirin Asam, Matthäus Günther, and Adrian Zingg. Published for the first time are unique drawings by such important sculptors as Georg Raphael Donner and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. The fully illustrated catalogue contains 105 entries, many of which deal with major issues of art of the time and treat the drawings exhibited in relation to works elsewhere. Biographies are presented for all the artists exhibited. This book therefore serves not only as a record of an exhibition but as a standard reference work.