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Wolff Metternich, Franziskus, Graf von

    Full Name: Wolff Metternich, Franziskus, Graf von

    Other Names:

    • Graf von Franz Wolff Matternich

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1893

    Date Died: 1978

    Place Born: Feldhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Place Died: Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): architecture (object genre), Medieval (European), Northern Renaissance, Renaissance, and sculpture (visual works)


    Northern medieval/renaissance architectural historian; Director of the Hertziana. Metternich studied at the Universität Bonn, writing his dissertation on what would become his life’s subject, the art and architecture of the northern renaissance in the Rhine region. Between 1928 and 1951 he was responsible for conservation of monuments in the Rhineland. Metternich returned to his alma mater to teach conservation beginning in 1933, achieving honorary professor status in 1939. He put his convictions into action during the second world war, overseeing the protection of works of art in the Rhineland and occupied France. His efforts were recognized in 1954 when the Hague Convention of Cultural Property Protection was drafted. Metternich worked briefly (1950-52) for the Foreign Office (in West Germany) tracing works stolen from Germany during the war. Between 1952-62 he was the director of the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome. Here, Metternich switched scholarly focuses from Rhenish architecture to Roman renaissance and baroque. Franz von Wolf Metternich is best known for his writings on Romanesque and baroque architecture. His study of Bramante’s commission of the building of San Pietro shows him to be a scholar deeply engaged in documentary art history.

    Selected Bibliography

    Bramante und St. Peter. Munich: Fink, 1975; Renard, Edmund. Schloss Bruhl: die kurkolnische Sommerresidenz Augustusburg. Berlin: [s.n.], 1934.


    Wolfgang Lotz. “In memoriam Franz Graf Wolff Metternich.” Römisches Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 18 (1979): 1-7; Bornheim Gen., Schilling, Werner. “Franz Graf Wolff Metternich.” Deutsche Kunst und Denkmalpflege 37/2 (1979): 204-208.


    "Wolff Metternich, Franziskus, Graf von." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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