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Beger, Lorenz

    Image Credit: Wikidata

    Full Name: Beger, Lorenz

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1653

    Date Died: 1705

    Place Born: Heidelberg, Saxony, Germany

    Place Died: Berlin, Germany

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): Classical

    Career(s): librarians


    Librarian and scholar of classical art. He served as librarian for Prince Karl Ludwig von der Pfalz from 1675 as well as conservator for the prince’s collection of coins and medals. In 1685, Berger began publishing these in his Thesaurus ex Thesauro Palatino Selectus. The arrangement of the gems was according to era (rulers), mythological subject. Bronze sculpture was also included in his publications. In 1693 Berger was appointed librarian of the coin, art and artifact collection of Frederick I of Prussia in Berlin. During this tenure, Berger acquired for the king the collection of Giovanni Pietro Bellori. Berger wrote proto-art histories on mythological themes appearing in art, including those on Meleager and the Trojan War. His greatest accomplishment in this area was his Thesaurus Brandenburgicus selectus (1696-1701). The work, considered by many to be the most important German work on classical art before Winckelmann, helped establish Berlin as a major art center for classical works.

    Selected Bibliography

    Thesaurus Brandenburgicus selectus, sive, Gemmarum et numismatum Graecorum in Cimeliarchio electoraii Brandenburgico: elegantiorum series: commentario illustratae. 2 vols. Coloniae Marchicae: Typis et impensis electoralibus, excudit Ulrichus Liebpert, 1696-1701; Thesaurus ex thesauro palatino selectus: sive, Gemmarum et numismatum qvae in electorali cimeliarchio continentvr elegantiorum aere expressa, et convenienti commentario illvstrata dispositio. Heidelberg: typis Philippi Delborn, 1685; Meleagrides et ætolia, ex numismate kypie[omega]n apud goltzium: interspersis Marmoribus quibusdam, de Meleagri interitu, & apri calydonii venatione : in lucem vindicatæ. Brandengerg: Typ. U. Liebpertus, 1696; Regum et imperatorum Romanorum numismata. Brandenberg: Ulrici Liebperti, 1700.


    “Berger, Lorenz.” Encyclopedia of the History of Classical Archaeology. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996, pp. 137-8; Archäologenbildnisse: Porträts und Kurzbiographien von Klassichen Archäologen deutscher Sprache. Reinhard Lullies, ed. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1988, pp. 1-2.


    "Beger, Lorenz." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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