Bibliotheca Hertziana

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Bibliotheca Hertziana
Max Planck Institute for Art History
Category: research Institute
Carrier: Max Planck Society
Legal form of the carrier: Registered association
Seat of the wearer: Munich
Facility location: Rome , Italy
Type of research: History of art and architecture
Subjects: Art history , cultural history , architectural history , film history ; History of cartography
Areas of expertise: Art history
Basic funding: Federal government (50%), states (50%)
Management: Tanja Michalsky (Director), Tristan Weddigen (Director)
Employee: approx. 120

The Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History , is a non-university research facility of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science e. V. (MPG) based in Rome , Italy .


The "Bibliotheca Hertziana" was founded in 1913 by a foundation by Henriette Hertz under the direction of Ernst Steinmann in Rome. Since then, the institute has resided in the Palazzo Zuccari , which the art patron Hertz (1846–1913) together with her art history library, a stock of 5000 books, and her photo collection of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (since 1948 Max Planck Society ) with the Determination bequeathed to establish a research institute for art and cultural history. The main focus of the institute is the research of Italian and Roman art of post-antiquity, especially the Renaissance , Baroque and Middle Ages .

In 1934 the name was changed to “Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Art and Cultural Studies (Bibliotheca Hertziana)” and an art history and cultural studies department was set up to research the interrelationships between Germany and Italy. In 1938 the name was again changed to “Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Art and Cultural Studies in the Palazzo Zuccari” in order to erase the memory of the Jewish benefactor in accordance with National Socialist ideology.

From 1943 the library and the institute were relocated to Meran , Hallein and Saalfelden . The Palazzo Zuccari was confiscated by the Allied military in 1944.

The Adenauer-De Gasperi Agreement in 1953 regulated the return of the institute to the Max Planck Society, which from then on was continued as the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max Planck Institute) and by Otto Hahn , the then MPG President on October 21 Opened in 1953. Since then, particular attention has been paid to the history of architecture . The establishment of a second scientific director's position in 1980 led to an expansion of the research spectrum to include painting and visual arts. In 2014 a third directorate was set up with the research area Middle Ages .

The book inventory of the institute library covers the history of Italian art from post-antiquity to modern times and currently comprises around 300,000 volumes. The institute's photo library holds more than 800,000 photographs, negatives and digital photos of Italian art.


The institute consists of two departments: Tanja Michalsky heads the department "City and Space in the Pre-Modern Age", founded in 2014, with a focus on southern Italy and reconstructions of historical space, while Tristan Weddigen , appointed in June 2017, conducts research on the global networking of Italian art and contemporary art . The directorates take turns in the management every two years.

Work areas

Palazzo Zuccari (2003)

The current areas of work are:

  • Italian art and architecture of the 4th to 14th centuries
  • Modern art history in a global context
  • Urban spaces
  • Art and architecture theory
  • Social Reality in Italian Film History

Directors of the Bibliotheca Hertziana


The Max Planck Institute for Art History is located in four adjacent buildings: the Palazzo Zuccari , the 1963 bought Palazzo Stroganoff and the Villino Stroganoff, both originally owned by Count Gregori Stroganoff, and the 2013 opened new building of the Spanish architect Juan Navarro Baldeweg to the site of the former garden of Palazzo Zuccari.

The new building of the Bibliotheca Hertziana

In the mid-1990s, the space in the existing buildings was no longer sufficient for the growing stock of books and the extension wing built in the 1960s had major structural and fire protection deficiencies. In order to save the institute from the threat of closure, it was decided to demolish and rebuild the extension wing while preserving the historical facades. In 1995 an international architecture competition was launched. The design by Juan Navarro Baldeweg was selected from the eight participants . The new building, which began in 2003, rests on an elaborate pile foundation with micropiles set up to 50 meters deep to preserve the remains of an ancient nymphaeum uncovered during construction work and was completed in 2012 and has been available for library and research operations since January 2013. The new building, which is not visible from the outside, is entered through the so-called Mascherone , which was originally built by Federico Zuccari as the entrance gate to his garden.

The Mascherone, entrance to the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Via Gregoriana


The Bibliotheca Hertziana publishes four series of publications, since 1927 the "Roman Research", since 1983 the "Roman Studies", the " Roman Yearbook " and the "Studi della Bibliotheca Hertziana".


The most important partners of the Bibliotheca Hertziana include the Vatican Museums , the German Archaeological Institute in Rome , the German Historical Institute in Rome , the Austrian Historical Institute in Rome , the Dutch Institute in Rome, the Académie de France à Rome ( Villa Medici ) , the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, as well as the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio storico-artistico ed etnoantropologico e per il Polo museale della Città di Roma, the Art History Institute in Florence , but also the Warburg Institute in London and the Central Institute for Art History in Munich and the German Forum for Art History , Paris.


  • 100 years Bibliotheca Hertziana. Volume 1: The history of the institute 1913–2013 ; Volume 2: The Palazzo Zuccari and the institute buildings 1590–2013. Hirmer Verlag, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-7774-9051-9 / ISBN 978-3-7774-9041-0 .
  • Bibliotheca Hertziana of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society / Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Art and Cultural Studies / Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History (Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max Planck Institute for Art History) in: Eckart Henning , Marion Kazemi : Handbuch on the history of the institutes of the Kaiser Wilhelm / Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science 1911–2011 - Data and Sources , Berlin 2016, 2 Part 1: Institutes and Research Centers AL ; Chronology of the institute. (PDF; 75 MB) pp. 142–162

Web links

Commons : Bibliotheca Hertziana  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. On the agreement between Adenauer and De Gasperi see: Adenauer-De Gasperi agreement at the Foreign Office ( Memento from May 21, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  3. For the detailed history of the Hertziana see: The history of the institute. Website of the Bibl. Hertziana.
  4. For the Hertziana buildings seeäude/
  5. ^ Claudius Ziehr: Bibliotheca Hertziana ... Rome. In: Deutsche Bauzeitung . October 1, 2012, accessed December 19, 2015 .
  6. Dirk Schümer: funnel from light, treasure house of books. The new Bibliotheca Hertziana., January 13, 2013, accessed on January 15, 2013 .
  7. Hellmouth as an entrance. Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome finished., January 15, 2013, accessed on January 15, 2013 .
  8. see the holdings of Roman Studies in the German National Library at
  9. see GND of the yearbook at
  10. for a complete overview of the publications see
  11. See the list at

Coordinates: 41 ° 54 ′ 19.5 ″  N , 12 ° 29 ′ 3.4 ″  E