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Wurzbach, Alfred Wolfgang von

    Full Name: Wurzbach, Alfred Wolfgang von

    Other Names:

    • Alfred Wolfgang von Wurzbach-Tannenberg

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1845

    Date Died: 1915

    Place Born: Lemberg, Austria

    Place Died: Vienna, Vienna state, Austria

    Home Country/ies: Austria

    Subject Area(s): biography (general genre), Dutch (culture or style), Flemish (culture or style), Netherlandish, and Northern Renaissance

    Career(s): art collectors


    Dutch and Flemish authority, collector, author of artist’s dictionary. Wurzbach began his career by studying law, but gave it up somewhere around 1876 to devote his energies to art history and travel. After a period of writing novels and comedies, he moved to art-writing, issuing a small book, Die französischen Maler, (French Painters of the Eighteenth Century) in 1880. From 1880-83 he was art critic for the Wiener Allgemeine Zeitung. During this time Wurzbach wrote two important book on northern rennaisance printmakers, an examination of the Master E.S. and Martin Schongauer. Toward the end of his life, he used his broad knowledge of Dutch and Flemish artists to issue the magisterial Niederländisches Künstler-Lexikon, a dictionary of artists in the low countries. As an art historian, some of his judgments have not proven correct. He was convinced, for example, that Master E.S. made forays into the Netherlands, something which can hardly be correct. Wurzbach inherited a large number of Dutch graphics and paintings, most from his wife’s family. In 1954, his son, the historian Alfred Wolfgang Wurzbach, Ritter Tannenberg (1879-1957), bequeathed them to the Akademie der Bildenden Künste.

    Selected Bibliography

    Niederländisches Künstler-Lexikon: auf Grund archivalischer Forschungen bearbeitet, von Alfred von Wurzbach; mit mehr als 3000 Monogrammen. Vienna: Leipzig, Halm und Goldmann, 1906-11; Die französischen Maler des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts: eine Sammlung ihrer bedeutendsten Werke. Stuttgart: P. Neff, 1880; Martin Schongauer: Eine kritische Untersuchung seines Lebens und seiner Werke, nebst einem chronologischen Verzeichnisse seiner Kupferstiche. Vienna: Adolf Holzhausen, 1880.


    The Dictionary of Art; Deutsches Biographisches Jahrbuch. Berlin: Deutsche Verlagsanstalt Stuttgart, 1925


    "Wurzbach, Alfred Wolfgang von." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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