The goal of this two-year project carried out in conjunction with the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (Braunschweig University of Art; Prof. Victoria von Flemming) was to create an in-depth catalogue of the library’s in-house collection of paintings, which were then to be indexed, catalogued and digitised. In order to make the collection available to a wider audience, the project also set out to publish a printed catalogue and present the paintings online.

The bulk of the collection is closely related to the history of the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and the Herzog August Bibliothek. Most of the works are oils painted between the 16th to 18th centuries, depicting portraits of scholars, reformers and members of the ducal House of Welf. A few of the works in the collection show subjects that are of relevance to cultural history and the history of the region.

The majority of the paintings are unsigned and of unknown provenance. The project was thus designed to obtain data underpinned by our knowledge of art history and cultural history that relates to the paintings’ genesis. Of particular interest for the history of the Herzog August Bibliothek is the likelihood of the scholar portraits having been included in the original library furnishings – part of the visual programme decorating the interior of the old library rotunda.

For an overview of the collection of paintings, please see the inventory list excerpted from the catalogue.

Funding: Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur (Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture, MWK)
Duration: 2009–2010
Project participants: Dr Michael Wenzel (team member), Prof. Victoria von Flemming (cooperation partner)