Skip to content

Nagler, G. K.

    Full Name: Nagler, G. K.

    Other Names:

    • Georg Kaspar Nagler

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1801

    Date Died: 1866

    Place Born: Oberdiessbach, Oberbayern, Germany

    Place Died: Munich, Bavaria, Germany

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): architecture (object genre), books, and sculpture (visual works)

    Career(s): book dealers and merchants


    Book dealer and architectural historian. Nagler earned his doctorate from the Universität Erlangen in 1829. Through his research at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, he completed his first major scholarly reference publication, Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon (1835-52). It took Nagler seventeen years, scrupulously delivering a manuscript every month to his printer, E.A. Fleischmann, in Munich. Comprehensive art dictionaries and encyclopedias were only then being written. Scholars had mixed feelings about such works. The art historian Hans Wolfgang Singer wrote of the work that “value of the encyclopaedia as a reference work is not…quite as great as the amount of work that has gone into it.” Outside of his book dealing business, Nagler wrote articles about art for the Bayerische Nationalzeitung. Between 1857 and 1878, he wrote his second art historical reference work, Die Monogrammisten und diejengien bekannten und unbekannten Künstler aller Schulen. Nagler intended this dictionary as a complement to this dictionary of artists. Die Monogrammisten became one of the first efforts to approach art historical research in a systematic and scientific way. In 1836, Nagler began lecturing on architectural history at the Königliche Baugewerbschule in Munich. Nagler considered a second edition of Künstler-Lexicon, but died before it could be begun. In 1867, Wilhelm Engelmann (publishers) bought the rights to the Künstler-Lexicon from Tendler/J. Grosser publishers. Julius Meyer was entrusted with a new edition, but it took a reorganization under Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker to bring the modern Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler for fruition.

    Selected Bibliography

    Neues allgemeines künstler-lexikon; oder, Nachrichten von dem leben und den werken der maler, bilhauer, baumeister, kupferstecher, lithographen, formschneider, zeichner, medailleure, elfenbeinarbeiter, etc. Linz: E. Mareis, 1904-14; Die Monogrammisten. 6 vols. Munich, G. Franz, 1879.


    The Dictionary of Art (incorrectly cites as “Gustav” Kaspar); “From Thieme-Becker to the Artists’ Database.” K. G. Saur homepage.

    Contributors: LaNitra Michele Walker and Lee Sorensen


    LaNitra Michele Walker and Lee Sorensen. "Nagler, G. K.." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

    More Resources

    Search for materials by & about this art historian: