Charles de Tolnay

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Charles de Tolnay , also: Károly von Tolnay or Karl Tolnai (born May 27, 1899 in Budapest , Austria-Hungary ; died January 17, 1981 in Florence ) was a Hungarian-German-American art historian .


Karl's father Arnold von Tolnai was a senior councilor in Austria-Hungary . Károly attended grammar school in Budapest and was invited to Béla Balázs's house to the Budapest “Sunday Circle”, which was headed by György Lukács .

Tolnay studied art history and archeology in Berlin with Adolph Goldschmidt , in Frankfurt with Rudolf Kautzsch , in Vienna with Max Dvořák and received his doctorate in 1925 with Julius Schlosser on Hieronymus Bosch . He began his studies on Michelangelo in Italy , became a private lecturer in Hamburg in 1928 and completed his habilitation there in 1929 . In 1930 he married Rina Ada Clara Bartolucci and later, in 1971, the sculptor Anna-Marie Reps. After the handover of power to the National Socialists , he left Germany in protest in 1933. At the Sorbonne he worked on Master von Flémalle , whose identity he wanted to prove with Robert Campin . With a recommendation from Erwin Panofsky , who emigrated from Hamburg to the United States in 1933 , Tolnay received a position at the Institute for Advanced Study , Princeton, NJ in 1939 . There he began his extensive, five-volume Michelangelo studies to write. In 1948 he was a fellow at Guggenheim and in 1949 at the Bollingen Foundation. After a professorship from 1953 to 1965 at Columbia University , he became director of Casa Buonarroti in Florence in 1965 , where he had to cope with the consequences of the Arno flood in 1966 and brought about a reorganization of the collection. In 1965 he was also accepted into the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome .

Fonts (selection)

  • The drawings of Pieter Bruegel . Munich 1925
  • Hieronymus Bosch , Basel: Holbein, 1937
  • Le maître de Flémalle et les frères van Eyck , Bruxelles: Ed. de la Connaissance, 1939
  • "History and Technique of Old Master Drawings". New York: Bittner 1943
  • Michelangelo . 5 volumes. Princeton 1943-1960
  • Michelangelo , Wiesbaden: Vollmer, 1966
  • Hieronymus Bosch. The complete work . Freiburg: Rheingauer Verlagsgesellschaft. 1967
  • Michelangelo. Sculptor, painter, architect . Princeton UP 1975
  • The complete works of Brueghel , Lucerne, Freudenstadt, Vienna: Kunstkreis Luzern, 1975
  • Corpus dei Disegni di Michelangelo . Novara: Istituto Geographico de Agostino. 4 volumes 1975–1980


  • Ulrike Wendland: Biographical handbook of German-speaking art historians in exile. Life and work of the scientists persecuted and expelled under National Socialism. Part 2: L – Z. Saur, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-598-11339-0 , pp. 703-713.
  • Éva Karádi, Erzsébet Vezér (eds.): Georg Lukács, Karl Mannheim and the Sunday Circle , Frankfurt am Main: Sendler, 1985 ISBN 3-88048-074-5

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