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Hollstein, F. W. H.

    Full Name: Hollstein, F. W. H.

    Other Names:

    • F. W. Hollstein

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1888

    Date Died: 1957

    Place Born: Berlin, Germany

    Place Died: Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): Baroque, catalogues raisonnés, prints (visual works), and Renaissance


    Cataloger of major corpus of Renaissance and Baroque prints. Hollstein was a major dealer in prints and drawings in Berlin before World War II. With the Nazi’s rise to power in Germany, Hollstein, a Jew, was forced to take refuge in Amsterdam. He was given a permanent seat in the print room (Rijksprentenkabinet) of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, where he set about compiling an index and catalog of known examples of prints. He based his corpus on examples from the collection and his own extensive knowledge and business notes. He published his first series, Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings, and Woodcuts beginning in 1949 (in English), with forwards by J. G. van Gelder and Max J. Friedländer. A second series, German Engravings, Etchings, and Woodcuts, began appearing in 1954. Hollstein published fourteen volumes of Dutch and Flemish Etchings until his death. The Director of the Amsterdam Rijksprentenkabinet, Karel G. Boon, assumed the responsibility of publishing the remaining original set. Hollstein modeled his catalog on the catalogs of the peintre-graveur, the “painter-engravers,” i.e., printers who cut their own works, as distinct from those engraved by professional engravers. Although he incorporated other engravers, too, his volumes gave the work of secondary engravers considerably less attention. His work was also criticized for neglecting cartography prints, history prints, and prints created for books, which considered part of the “minor arts.” He did not consult the prints or the various print states in other collections. To rectify this, his works were re-edited by subsequent editors and issued in additions known as the “New Hollstein.” His accomplishment, like that of Adam von Bartsch and others, remains the foundation for print study.

    Selected Bibliography

    Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings, and Woodcuts, ca. 1450-1700. 36 vols. Amsterdam: M. Hertzberger, 1949- [later years published by Van Gendt, Rosendaal: Koninklijke van Poll]; German Engravings, Etchings, and Woodcuts, ca. 1400-1700. 65 vols. Amsterdam: M. Hertzberger, 1954-


    Veldman, Ilja M. “Forward.” The New Hollstein Dutch & Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts, 1450-1700; pt. 1. Maarteen van Heemskerck . vol. 1 Roosendaal, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Van Poll/Rijksprentenkabinet, 1993, pp. 10-


    "Hollstein, F. W. H.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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