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The natural history of art: Adam von Bartsch and the taxonomic classification of prints

Feiman, Jesse (2021) The natural history of art: Adam von Bartsch and the taxonomic classification of prints. Journal of Art Historiography (24). ISSN 2042-4752

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URL of Published Version: https://arthistoriography.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/feiman.pdf

Identification Number/DOI: https://doi.org/10.48352/uobxjah.00003427


The taxonomic arrangement Adam von Bartsch (1757-1821) devised for the print cabinet at the Imperial Court Library in Vienna fostered the historical analysis of prints by compelling visitors to associate the location of each print impression with the circumstance of its creation. His organizational system facilitated research by placing prints in a rational order. Similar to Linnaean classification, the rigid structure of Bartsch’s system described the relationships between prints, specifically their attributions and their creators’ places in a national tradition. By engaging with Bartsch’s taxonomy, the scholars and collectors who visited the Imperial Library absorbed his ideas about authorship, historical development, and national identity.

Type of Work:Article
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
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This article is archived in ePapers for preservation purposes

Date:June 2021
Keywords:prints, history, library, classification, taxonomy, authorship, connoisseurship
Subjects:N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Copyright Status:Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. Authors may subsequently archive and publish the pdfs as produced by the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings. Copyright restrictions apply to the use of any images contained within the articles. This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
ID Code:3427
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