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Ludwig Gruners drawings after Raphael's cartoons for the tapestries in the Vatican. A discovery in the Kupferstich-Kabinett in Dresden

Böckmann, Barbara

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On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Raphael's death, the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden presented an extensive special exhibition with the title: "Raphael - The Power of Renaissance Images. The Dresden Tapestries and their Impact", which was shown from June to August 2020. During the preparation of this exhibition a series of life-size charcoal-drawings after the famous Raphael-Cartoons for the tapestries in the Sistine Chapel in Rome were rediscovered at the Kupferstich-Kabinett of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Two of them were shown in the exhibition. First observations to the drawings were published in the exhibition catalogue: The drawings bear no signature and their provenance is still unknown but reports in the contemporary literature suggest that the drawings were the work of the engraver and former director of the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett, Wilhelm Heinrich Ludwig Gruner (1801-1882). In the following essay the author presents evidence from newly discovered documents which prove that in the early 1840s Ludwig Gruner copied parts of the seven tapestries in the original size when they were still at Hampton Court. The analysis of the drawings leads to an amazing conclusion: It must have been Ludwig Gruner who executed the huge drawings because of their unique technique. Yet, the 15 drawings in the Kupferstich-Kabinett form only part of Gruner’s copies as documents show that he made studies from all of the seven Raphael-Cartoons – whereas the copies found in the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett comprise studies from only four of the Cartoons. It is hoped that the findings presented in this essay will lead to the discovery of at least some other copies of the lost part of these extraordinary drawings.

Document type: Article
Date: 2021
Böckmann, Daniel
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2021 09:51
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Drawing and decorative arts
Controlled Keywords: Raffaello <Sanzio>, Rezeption, Gruner, Ludwig (Künstler, 1801-1882), Zeichnung, Kupferstich-Kabinett <Dresden>
Subject (classification): Artists, Architects
Drawing, Printmaking
Museology, Art Collection, Art Museum
Countries/Regions: Germany, Switzerland, Austria
Additional Information: Zugang zum Text in deutscher Sprache siehe Link "Verwandte URLs".