Philipp Hainhofer – Art Agent and Diplomatic Actor of the Early Modern Period
("Stipo tedesco"), in: Cod. Guelf. 6.6 Aug 2°
The art agent Philipp Hainhofer (1578-1647) from Augsburg is one of the most important figures in the politics of art and collections in the first half of the 17th century north of the Alps.
Hainhofer not only conceived and commissioned highly artificial objects for curiosity cabinets, but also advised collectors and documented various Kunst- und Wunderkammern he visited during his journeys through Europe.
As a contractor in Augsburg, he acted at the point of intersection of a significant art-political exchange of ideas and goods. This shows itself in pieces of art as well as in his travelogues and letters.
The biggest complete collection of his written documents is kept in the Herzog August library. It includes all travelogues, two alba amicorum, the copy books of his business correspondence, most part the letters, he exchanged with Duke August the younger (1579-1666), descriptions of his Kunstschränke and his lute books.
The aim of the project is to examine Hainhofer’s behavior from a cultural-historical approach. On the basis of the Wolfenbüttel sources his social, economical, confessional and political environment is explored. Subsequently, the project’s intent is to classify Philipp Hainhofer in the context of other political art agents between 1550 and 1650. A key aspect of this examination is to deal with art transfer as political transfer. Functions and self-understanding of early modern agents will be described more precisely than has been the case until now. It is planned to publish the results as a book.