Laying the Foundations: J.D. Passavant
Passavant was born in 1787 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. To further his business interests, he moved to Paris in 1809; but he returned to Frankfurt in 1824 where art history evermore occupied his interest. His Tour of a German Artist in England (1833 in German; 1836 translated into English by Lady Eastlake) was an important influence on Waagen. Both Waagen and Passavant had been educated by Freidrich von Rumohr, who was the first important German scholar of art history. From Rumohr, Passavant would learn the value of observation and a factual approach to research; he was the first art historian to pioneer a new research method by publishing his working notes on pictures. According to Waterfield and Illies, Waagen saw his Treasures “as a continuation of Passavant’s Tour,” but they qualify this by stating that this may have been a mark of courtesy on Waagen’s part to his friend.  A notable Raphael scholar and painter, Passavant would become Inspektor (curator) of the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt in 1839. For that museum he built up the prints and drawing sections, staged exhibitions, and taught. Passavant developed the three principal genres of art writing important for the next two centuries: the scholarly artistic biography, the aesthetic travelogue, and the reference survey. He died in 1861 in Frankfurt am Main.
|Johann David Passavant, Self-Portrait with Beret before a Roman Landscape, 1818, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt.|
|Johann David Passavant, Holy Family with St Elizabeth & St John, 1819, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt.|
Dr Waagen & Art History.
Dr Gustave Friedrich Waagen (1797-1868) was born in Hamburg; he became the first professor of art in another city, Berlin. Waagen is mainly connected with the van Eyck, both brothers were the subject of his first monograph (1822); this was also the first catalogue raisonné of a single painter. Like Passavant, Waagen’s approach was eminently rational and factual, seeking to establish a chronology of the painter’s oeuvre for the art historians of the future to use and update where needed. Waagen insisted that to understand an artist the following should be discussed: “political history, the constitution, the character of a people, conditions of the church, customs, literature and the nature of the land.“ Schooled in advances in connoisseurship also, particularly by the Storia Pittorica of the Italian art historian Luigi Lanzi, Waagen even included doubtful works in order to provide a comprehensive overview of a painter’s oeuvre. Waagen’s surveys of art in museums, private collections in town houses like Stafford House, and country houses were greatly influential, and for one scholar Wilhelm Waetzoldt, Waagen’s series of books marks “the moment when the romantic-aesthetic view of art met the beginning of art history as a science.”
|James Dingman Wingfield, The Picture Gallery, Stafford House, 1848, oil on canvas, 115.2 x 131.4 cm, Government Art Collection.|
|Unknown artist, engraving of Dr Gustave Waagen, 1797-1868.|
David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, Photograph of Lady Eastlake, nee Elizabeth Rigby, 1843-48.
In his introduction to his survey of art in Britain, Waagen explains that he first visited England in 1835, but was able to remain “not more than five months.” Invited to make a second visit by Sir Charles Eastlake in 1850, Waagen set out with the intention of making the art in British collections known to his own country. On good terms with Eastlake, Waagen’s book on the Art Treasures of England was eventually translated from German into English by the Director’s wife Lady Eastlake: Treasures of Art in Great Britain, (two volumes in 1854) and their companion Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain (1857). These took the form of a series of letters (33 over 3 volumes) addressed to his wife Blandine von Seehausen whom he had married in 1851; in addition to the art itself, Waagen described the places, institutions and buildings that housed it. Logically, Waagen’s survey begins in London with private and public collections of the British Museum and the National Gallery after which Waagen journeys out into the provinces visiting both country seats and collections in towns and cities, e.g. Oxford, Bath, and Birmingham. He even visits collections in Scotland, omitted on this course. Waagen thus provides a geographical itinerary for the collections in England. However, it is the third volume that describes country house collections. This volume begins at Stanstead House (Chichester), then moves outwards through places such as the now defunct Panshanger (Hertfordshire), bears back to Arundel Castle and Petworth (Sussex), before heading north to Oxford, then Blenheim, then back to Salisbury, and thence to Bath. Generally the longer the section, the more important the art collection is to Waagen; thus Wilton House gets more coverage than Longford Castle nearby. The furthest north in England Waagen travels is Castle Howard near York after which he turns southwards via seats such as Chatsworth (Derbyshire), Holkham (Norfolk), Althorp (Northants), Woburn (Beds), finishing at Luton House in the same county.
|View of Holkham Hall, Norfolk.|
|View of Temple Newsham, Leeds.|
|View of Kedleston Hall, NT, Derbyshire.|
|Gallery at Wilton with Cardplayers.|
Waagen’s Method at Thirlstaine.
The first thing to say is that Waagen organises his catalogues by school: ie, the nationalities of the painters. And like previous cataloguers, Waagen has subdivisions for Italian painting, both renaissance and baroque, e.g. “Tuscan,” “Neapolitan.” This is absolutely essential when presenting an overview of a complex collection assembled by a single patron or a family over generations who have no interest in a structured method of display. For example, Lord Northwick’s collection at Thirlstaine House (Cheltenham) was bewildering in its catholicity; it encompassed nearly every kind of painting ranging from fifteenth-century Italian “primitive” art to contemporary English painting of the early 19th century. A painting executed by Huskisson for the R.A. shows pictures in one of the main rooms in the house, the dining room, not a space specifically built for the display of art like top-lit rooms on the upper floors. Here, we can see a variety of pictures/schools on the walls (Spanish, French, Dutch, Flemish, Italian, English, and a range of genres- allegory, narrative, sacred, secular, landscape and portrait). The systematic approach Waagen took towards Lord Northwick’s collection was helpful as it expedited the reading of the aristocrat’s sprawling collection. But this scientific method prompted by the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition of 1857 inevitably misrepresents the original intention of the private aristocratic collector; the original character of the collection, clearly not to the satisfaction of the visiting art historian complaining about the arbitrary mingling of the pictures of different periods and schools, something of which is captured in Huskisson’s R.A. picture as well as a watercolour. As per his method in his Van Eyck monograph, Waagen considers spurious pictures, copies, imitations as well as confidently attributed ones. Inevitably, some of Waagen’s attributions have been contested and shown to be wrong, but generally he has a good “eye for a picture.” Certainly, Waagen was aware of misattributions and he had complained of “false attributions” and “badly restored works” which may have been responsible for certain alterations to the Thirlstaine Guide of 1858 published after the Director’s visit.
|Robert Huskisson, Interior of Thirlstaine House, Lord Northwick’s Pictures, 1846-7, Yale Centre for British Art.|
|Sandro Botticelli, Portrait of a Young Man, probably about 1480-5, tempera and oil on wood, 37.5 x 28.3 cm National Gallery, London.|
|Titian, The Rape of Lucretia, 1571, oil on canvas, 188.9 x 145 cm, previously Northwick collection, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.|
|Georgiana or Harriet Rushout-Bowles, c. 1843, watercolour, Sotheby’s, London, 11th July, 1941.|
Unidentified Artist, Portrait of a Young Man, possibly Milanese, about 1518, oil on wood, 64.5 x 49.2 cm National Gallery, London.
Disappearances, Re-attributions & Mysteries
There are too many houses that Waagen visited to cover here, but amongst the others are a range of properties, some of which remain private, while others are currently run by the National Trust. In the latter group is Kedleston Hall (Derbyshire) which is an interesting and fine collection overlooked by some scholars despite having excellent pictures by Bol, Van Boelen, Rosa, Strozzi, Dolce, Gaspar and others. On arriving at Kedleston, Waagen was cordially greeted by Lord Curzon, son of the owner who offered to show the Director the family’s “Rembrandt.” On seeing it Waagen immediately pronounced it a “masterpiece by Salomon de Koninck,” a re-attribution that Curzon ruefully accepted having had doubts about the attribution himself; the aristocrat was also crestfallen because the financial value of the picture was considerably diminished by this re-baptising. According to the BBC’s website, Kedleston contains about 195 paintings, but in the case of Temple Newsham (now owned by Leeds City Council), there is no less than 430 paintings. However, quantity does not necessarily imply quality as TN has a lot of inferior works and copies, though to be fair the collection has lost some masterpieces since Waagen’s visit; only a handful of pictures described by the Director can now be found at TN. In the case of Holkham Hall in Norfolk, more art has disappeared though a lot remains in place for the present, though the future of the collection is uncertain with Lord Leicester’s death last month. Holkham is the location of the famous “Michelangelo Cartoon” by Sangallo, but sadly, the so-called “Raphael Cartoon” for the Louvre La Belle Jardinière was sold to the Washington NGA in the 1980s with financial help from the Hammer Foundation. The emphasis at Stourhead NT is French (Lagrenée, Poussin), but there are some nice Italian and Flemish pictures by Cigoli and van Balen respectively. Finally, Waagen has much to say about the collections of another private residence, Wilton House, seat of the Earls of Pembroke in Wiltshire. Amongst the treasures admired here was a nice Cardplayers by Lucas van der Leyden. Paintings not mentioned, presumably in the collection later, are the Holy Family attributed to Parmigianino, mysteriously untraceable in the literature on the artist; and the Old Woman Reading which is likely to be by a follower of Rembrandt, not by the master himself. There are more problematic attributions at Wilton which might have amused Waagen if he had been living today.
|Salomon de Koninck, Daniel before Nebuchadnezzar, Oil on canvas, 165 x 165 cm, NT Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.|
|Raphael, cartoon for La Belle Jardinière, 1507, black chalk with traces of white chalk, outlines pricked for transfer; laid down, 93.8 x 67 cm, NGA, Washington.|
|Nicolas Poussin, The Choice of Hercules, 1636/7, oil on canvas, 88.5 x 72 cm, NT, Stourhead.|
|Att to Parmigianino, “Virgin & Child with Sts Catherine and John,” Wilton House.|
|Att to Rembrandt, Old Woman Reading, no details known, Wilton House.|
1) Johann David Passavant, Self-Portrait with Beret before a Roman Landscape, 1818, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt.
2) Johann David Passavant, Holy Family with St Elizabeth & St John, 1819, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt.
3) Unknown artist, engraving of Dr Gustave Waagen, 1797-1868.
4) David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, Photograph of Lady Eastlake, nee Elizabeth Rigby, 1843-48.
5) James Dingman Wingfield, The Picture Gallery, Stafford House, 1848, oil on canvas, 115.2 x 131.4 cm, Government Art Collection.
6) View of Thirlstaine House, near Cheltenham.
7) Robert Huskisson, Interior of Thirlstane House, Lord Northwick’s Pictures, 1846-7, Yale Centre for British Art.
8) Sandro Botticelli, Portrait of a Young Man, probably about 1480-5, tempera and oil on wood, 37.5 x 28.3 cm National Gallery, London.
9) Unidentified Artist, Portrait of a Young Man, possibly Milanese, about 1518, oil on wood, 64.5 x 49.2 cm National Gallery, London.
10) Francis Danby, The Wood-Nymph’s Hymn to the Rising Sun, 1845, oil on canvas, 42 ¼ x 60 cms, Tate Britain, London.
11) Georgiana or Harriet Rushout-Bowles, c. 1843, watercolour, Sotheby’s, London, 11th July, 1941.
12) Titian, The Rape of Lucretia, 1571, oil on canvas, 188.9 x 145 cm, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
13) View of Kedleston Hall, NT, Derbyshire.
14) Salomon de Koninck, Daniel before Nebuchadnezzar, Oil on canvas, 165 x 165 cm, NT Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.
15) Library at Kedleston with Salomon de Koninck, Bol and Rosa in situ.
16) Ferdinand Bol, a Portrait of an Old Man, 1640/160, Oil on canvas, 85 x 70 cm, NT Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.
17) Judocus de Momper & Jan Velvet Brueghel, A Large Mountainous Landscape, Oil on panel, 121.5 x 171 cm, NT Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.
18) Interior of Kedleston with pictures hung in situ.
19) Salvator Rosa, A Philosopher, Oil on canvas, 119.5 x 94 cm, NT Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.
20) Bernardo Strozzi, Saint John the Baptist Interrogated about Christ, 1618-20, Oil on canvas, 110 x 115 cm, NT Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.
21) Matteo Rosselli, The Israelites Celebrating David's Triumph over Goliath, Oil on canvas, 173 x 259 cm, NT Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.
22) Carlo Dolci, Saint Christina of Bolsena, c. 1650-55, Oil on panel, 28.5 x 28.5 cm, NT Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.
23) Jan Frans van Bloemen, A Wooded Landscape with Figures, c. 1725-1726, Oil on canvas, 175.6 x 125.5 cm, NT Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire.
24) Parmigianino, Madonna and Child, c. 1527-30, oil on panel, 44.8 x 34 cm, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas.
25) View of Temple Newsham, Leeds.
26) Rembrandt van Rijn (Style of), Christ and the Disciples (Supper at Emmaus), Oil on wood, 34.3 x 43.2 cm, Temple Newsham, Leeds.
27) Pier Francesco Mola, Landscape with Two Carthusian Hermits, oil on canvas, 51.5 x 68 cm, , Temple Newsham, Leeds.
28) View of Holkham Hall, Norfolk.
29) Sangallo (after Michelangelo), Battle of Cascina (central section), 1505, Oil on panel, 77 x 130 cm, Holkham Hall, Norfolk.
30) Drawing Room at Holkham Hall.
31) Titian (and workshop), Venus and the Lute Player, 1565-70, oil on canvas, 165.1 x 209.6 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, formerly Holkham Hall.
32) Raphael, cartoon for La Belle Jardinière, 1507, black chalk with traces of white chalk, outlines pricked for transfer; laid down, 93.8 x 67 cm, NGA, Washington.
33) Green State Bedroom, Holkham Hall with Gavin Hamilton’s Jupiter and Juno above fireplace.
34) Chapel at Holkham with Guido Reni’s Assumption of the Virgin in situ.
35) View of Stourhead House, Wiltshire.
36) Nicolas Poussin, The Choice of Hercules, 1636/7, oil on canvas, 88.5 x 72 cm, NT, Stourhead.
37) Cigoli , Adoration of the Magi, (from the destroyed church of San Pietro Maggiore, Florence), 1605, oil on canvas, 345.5 x 233.5 cm, NT Stourhead.
38) Hendrik van Balen I and Jan Velvet Breughel the younger, 1621-32, oil on copper, 71 x 89 cm, NT, Stourhead.
39) View of Wilton House,
40) Anthony van Dyck, Philip Herbert (1584-1650), Earl of Pembroke & his Family, oil on canvas, Wilton House.
41) Anthony van Dyck Pembroke painting in situ.
42) Lucas van Leyden, The Cardplayers, c. 1515, oil on panel, 36 x 46 cm, , Wilton House.
43) Gallery at Wilton with Cardplayers and other pictures.
44) Jan Gossaert (Mabuse), The Children of Christian II, King of Denmark, 1526, oil on oak panel, 34.2 x 46.2 cm, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle.
45) Parmigianino, (possibly after) “Virgin & Child with Sts Catherine and John,” Wilton House.
46) Circle of Rembrandt, Old Woman Reading, no details known, Wilton House 
 Giles Waterfield and Florian Illies, “Waagen in England,” Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen, 37. Bd. (1995), 47-59, 50.
 Mitchell Schwartzer, “Origins of the Art History Survey Text,” Art Journal, 54, (Fall, 1994), 24-29, 25.
 Waterfield and Illies, “Waagen in England, 50.
 See Susannah Avery-Quash and Julie Sheldon: Art for the Nation: the Eastlakes and the Victorian Art World (Yale University press, 2011), 128: Lady Eastlake’s decision to put her name to the title page “was made on the grounds that her marital status lent respectability to her labours.” Lady Eastlake had also translated other texts previously such as Passavant’s Tour in 1836 and Kugler’s Handbook of Painting: the Italian Schools, but her name not acknowledged in the Kugler.
 On the Northwick collections see the two interesting articles by Bradbury and Penny in the Burlington Magazine, “The Picture Collecting of Lord Northwick” Parts I & II, Vol 144, No. 1193 (Aug 2002); Vol. 1195 9Oct 2002).
 Waagen, XXXI
 Waagen, XXIX
 For example, the Two Putti attributed to Poussin seems optimistic. At Wilton House since before 1730, and in the catalogue of 1968 no. 187 where it is listed as an autograph sketch for the NG’s Bacchanal before a Herm where the two putti appear. Blunt said in 1966 that parts of it had been cleaned off with the result that “the picture was very close indeed to Poussin and must have been painted under his direct supervision.” Blunt 1966 no. 141, 102.
 Purchased from the artist by John, 2nd Lord of Northwick, 1845: Francis Danby 1793-1861, (Tate Britain, Bristol Art Gallery, 1988), no. 44.
 According to Bradbury and Penny, Lord Northwick liked disturbing and violent subjects; this picture had been rejected by another collector because of this.
 Waagen missed this by about a decade as it wasn’t in the collection when he visited. It is first recorded there in 1768: Helen Langdon et al, Salvator Rosa, Dulwich, 2010, no. 4.
 The attribution seems doubtful, and Spear who hadn’t seen it at the time of his Reni book called it “seemingly bland,” Spear, The Divine Guido, 372, 62: “ I must reserve judgment on the seemingly bland picture at Holkham Hall , not having had the opportunity to study it.”
 “A very important work, executed for the Albrizzi family,” Waagen, XXV.
 Gould lists a “Holy Family with Angels From Wilton” sold at Christie’s 1957 as Breja, Cecil Gould Parmigianino, C.19. Apart from the attribution there is nothing in the picture to identify the woman as St Catherine, perhaps another angel?
 Listed as a Rembrandt in 1769, James Kennedy’s A Description of the Antiquities and Curiosities at Wilton House, 41. Considered by the Rembrandt Research Project to be “Circle of Rembrandt.”