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Sandrart, Joachim von

    Full Name: Sandrart, Joachim von

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1606

    Date Died: 1688

    Place Born: Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany

    Place Died: Nuremberg (also Nürnberg), Germany

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): biography (general genre) and painting (visual works)


    Painter and author of an early history/biographical dictionary of artists, Teutsche Academie. Sandrart’s father was a Calvinist who had fled Valenciennes, in the county of Hainaut (then under Spain) to Frankfurt. The younger Sandrart began a career as an artist, studying drawing. In 1620, he moved to Nuremberg, where he learned engraving. In Prague, the engraver Aegidius Sadeler advised him to specialize in painting. Around 1625, he became a pupil of the Dutch painter Gerard van Honthorst in Utrecht. In Honthorst’s house, he met Peter Paul Rubens, whom he accompanied on Rubens’ tour through Holland. After working for Honthorst at the English court, Sandrart traveled to Rome in 1629 where he met the artistic and intellectual community there. Between 1632 and 1635, he was in charge of the collection of Vincenzo Giustiani (1564-1637) and oversaw the 1635 publication of the antique sculptures entitled Galleria Giustiniani. Two years after his return to Frankfurt (1635), Sandrart married Johanna Milkau. The Thirty Years War forced them to move to Amsterdam where Sandrart specialized in portrait painting. His clients included the most famous writers and poets, including Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679) and Caspar Barlaeus (1584-1648). In 1645, Sandrart moved to an estate in Stockau, Germany which he had inherited from his father-in-law. He continued to paint, especially large works such as group portraits and altarpieces. Between 1651 and 1653, he worked for Emperor Ferdinand III (1608-1657). In 1670 he moved to Augsburg, and then to Nuremberg in 1673, founding academies in both cities. These art schools probably were studios in which amateurs and maybe Sandrart’s pupils had the opportunity to draw from life (Pevsner, 1940). In this period Sandrart composed his magnum opus, the L’Academia Todesca della Architectura Scultura et Pictura, oder Teutsche Academie der Edlen Bau-, Bild- und Mahlerey- Künste, published in Nuremberg in 1675. A second part appeared in 1679 and an abridged Latin translation followed in 1683. The Teutsche Academie is an illustrated compendium of art education and of artist biographies compiled from a variety of sources as well as descriptions of Roman antiquities, inventories of famous private art collections and libraries, and a German translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses based on the Dutch translation by Karel Van Mander. The biographies were largely taken from the biographical editions of Giorgio Vasari, Van Mander, and others and many of the accounts of art collections from the French doctor and numismatist Charles Patin (1633-93). Sandrart’s provided original entries on a number of German, Dutch, French, Italian, and Spanish artists as well as his own life and it is these that make his work important. Sandrart published another work, his Sculpturae veteris admiranda, on ancient sculpture donated to the Giustiniani collection, in 1680. He also published an illustrated study on ancient gods, Iconologia deorum that year. A treatise on Roman topography, Romae antiquae et novae theatrum appeared in 1684. But it is the Teutsche Academie that gained him most fame. The work was in its turn used as one of the main sources for De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Konstschilders en Schilderessen by Arnold Houbraken, published in 1718-1721 and remains an important primary source today. Critical reception on Sandrart’s work has varied. In the 1920s, Wilhelm Waetzoldt rightly pointed out that Sandrart was neither a great scholar nor an original thinker, merely a learned aristocrat and humanist possessed of a high self-esteem. Scholars also have criticized the archaeological data of the Academie. The 1925 edition by Rudolf Peltzer, though only a partial republication, is evidence of the importance of the Teutsche Academie. In recent years, the Teutsche Academie has been the subject of numerous studies, and a three-volume facsimile edition, by Christian Klemm and Jochen Becker, in 1994-95. The third part contains Ovid’s Metamorphoses as well as Sandrart’s 1680 illustrated work on ancient mythology, Iconologia deorum (after Vincenzo Cartari, b. ca 1500). Klemm, who cataloged Sandrart’s painting in 1986, called Sandrart the most important German writer on art between Albrecht Dürer and Johann Joachim Winckelmann.

    Selected Bibliography

    L’Academia Todesca della Architectura Scultura et Pictura, oder Teutsche Academie der Edlen Bau- Bild- und Mahlerey-Künste. 2 vols. Nuremberg: Jacob von Sandrart, 1675; Nuremberg: Michael und Johann Friedrichen Endtern, 1679. Facsimile edition, (introduced by Klemm, Christian and Becker, Jochen). 3 vols. Nördlingen, Uhl, 1994-1995; Iconologia deorum, oder Abbildung der Götter, welche von den Alten verehret worden. Nuremberg: Froberger, 1680.


    Bazin, Germain. Histoire de l’histoire de l’art; de Vasari à nos jours. Paris: Albin Michel, 1986, pp. 64, 396; Metzler Kunsthistoriker Lexikon: zweihundert Porträts deutschsprachiger Autoren aus vier Jahrhunderten. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1999, pp. 335-37; Sponsel, Jean Louis. Sandrarts Teutsche Academie Kritisch gesichtet. Dresden: Wilhelm Hoffman, 1896; Peltzer, Rudolf A. Joachim von Sandrarts Academie der Bau-, Bild- und Mahlerey-Künste von 1675: Leben der berühmten Maler, Bildhauer und Baumeister. Munich: G. Hirth’s Verlag, 1925; Pevsner, Nikolaus. Academies of Art, Past and Present. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1940, pp. 115-117; Waetzoldt, Wilhelm. Deutsche Kunsthistoriker von Sandrart bis Rumohr. Berlin: Verlag Bruno Hessling, 1965, vol. 1. pp. 23-42; Klemm, Christian. Joachim von Sandrart: Kunst-Werke u. Lebens-Lauf. Berlin: Deutsche Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1986; Porteman, Karel. Joachim von Sandrart, Joost van den Vondel, Caspar Barlaeus: De maanden van het jaar. Wommelgem: Den Gulden Engel, 1987; Kränzle, Peter in Biografisch-Bibliografisches Kirchenlexikon. 8 (1994) pp. 1314-1321 (; Klemm, Christian. “Sandrart, Joachim.” The Dictionary of Art. 27, 1996, pp. 724-726; Schlosser, Julius. La letteratura artistica: Manuale delle fonti della storia dell’arte moderna. Revised and edited by Otto Kurz. Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1964, pp. 478-79; “Sandrart, Joachim von.” Encyclopedia of the History of Classical Archaeology. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996, vol. 2, pp. 1004.

    Contributors: Monique Daniels


    Monique Daniels. "Sandrart, Joachim von." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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