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Schubring, Paul

    Full Name: Schubring, Paul

    Other Names:

    • Paul Wilhelm Julius Schubring

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1869

    Date Died: 1935

    Place Born: Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Place Died: Hanover, Germany

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): sculpture (visual works)


    Scholar of quattrocento sculpture and author of the volumes on that topic for both the Handbuch der Kunstwissenschaft and Propyläen Kunstgeschichte. He was born in Godesberg, Germany, which is part of present-day Bonn, Germany. Schubring was a son of a minister in Godesberg. After study at the universities of Greifswald, Bonn and Marburg he wrote his doctorate in theology at the University in Bonn in 1892. In 1893 he trained at the Scuola internazionale in Bari, Italy. He married the daughter of the there German consul there. 1895 became a minister at a congregation in Frankfurt am Main. Though a mutual congregant, he met Erich Foerster (1865-1945) publisher of the Christlichen Welt (“Christian World”) magazine. Schubring wrote articles for the Welt, with an ever-increasing art-historical focus. In 1895 he decided to study art history formally at the University of Leipzig, receiving his second doctorate in 1898 writing on the painter Altichiero (active 1372-84). After his dissertation, Schubring initially volunteered at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (arts and crafts museum) in Berlin. In 1899 he moved, still unsalaried, to the Berlin Gemäldegalerie. Between 1899 and 1902 he was an assistant for the “Christian” (medieval) sculptures at the museum. Beginning in1900 he taught art history and literature at the Akademischen Hochschule für die bildenden Künste in Berlin. Schubring wrote his habilitationsschrift in 1904 at the Technischen Hochschule Charlottenburg. He then became a privatdozent in medieval and renaissance art history of Italy. In 1907 he was appointed the professor, moving to Basle on a year appointment as an ordinarius professor in 1909-10, and the following year returning to Charlottenburg. He translated Vespasiano da Bisticci’s biographies in 1914. The following year, Schubring issued a corpus of Italian cassoni, that, along with the one for medieval ivories by Adolph Goldschmidt and Netherlandish painting by Max J. Friedländer, set a standard for the genre. He wrote the volume for the Handbuch der Kunstwissenschaft series of Anton Springer for Italian fifteenth-century sculpture in 1919. In 1920 he was appointed a full professor in the history of art at the Hanover Technischen Hochschule and custodian of the art collection. In 1926 he authored the renaissance art volume for the other art encyclopedia of Germany, the Propyläen Kunstgeschichte. He retired emeritus in 1935 and died the same year.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] Altichiero und seine Schule. Leipzig, 1898, published, Altichiero und seine Schule: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der oberitalienischen Malerei im Trecento. Leipzig: Karl W. Hiersemann, 1898; [habilitation?] Das italienische Grabmal der Frührenaissance. Berlin: O. Baumgärtel, 1904; Die italienische Plastik des Quattrocento. Handbuch der Kunstwissenschaft 18. Berlin-Neubabelsberg: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Athenaion m.b.h., 1919; Donatello: des Meisters Werke. Leipzig: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1907, abridged English, The Work of Donatello. New York: Brentano’s, 1921; Urbano da Cortona: ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Schule Donatellos und der Sieneser Plastik im quattrocento. Strassburg: J. H. E. Heitz, 1903; Die Plastik Sienas im Quattrocento. Berlin: G. Grote, 1907; and Clemen, Paul, and Goldschmidt, Adolph, and Justi, Ludwig. Das Kaiser Friedrich Museum zu Berlin. Leipzig: E. A. Seemann, 1904; Die sixtinische Kapelle. Rome: Frank & Co., 1909, English, Sistine Chapel. Rome: Frank, 1910; Die Kunst der Hochrenaissance in Italien. Propyläen Kunstgeschichte 9. Berlin: Propyläen-Verlag, 1926; edited and translated, Vespasiano da Bisticci. Lebensbeschreibungen berühmter Männer des Quattrocento. Jena: E. Diedrichs, 1914; Cassoni: Truhen und Truhenbilder der italienischen Frührenaissance: ein Beitrag zur Profanmalerei im Quattrocento. 2 vols. Leipzig: K.W. Hiersemann, 1915.


    Metzler Kunsthistoriker Lexikon: zweihundert Porträts deutschsprachiger Autoren aus vier Jahrhunderten. Stuttgart: Metzler, 1999, pp. 373-5; Matthias, Wolf. “Schubring, Paul.” Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon XVII (2000): 1247-1251,


    "Schubring, Paul." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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