Digitisation and specialist indexing of the Individual Graphic Sheets of the Collection of Architect Albrecht Haupt (GESAH)

TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and University Library

History of Architecture and Urban Development, Institute for History and Theory of Architecture, Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH)

TIB’s “Albrecht Haupt Collection” is a special collection of national and international importance. The architect and building researcher Karl Albrecht Haupt (1852–1932), who taught at what was then the Hannover College of Technology for many years, compiled the collection and presented it to the college library during his lifetime.

As early as 1941, architectural historian Lieselotte Vossnack called it an outstanding collection, “comparable only to the collection of the publicly funded Staatliche Kunstbibliothek zu Berlin,” (now called the Kunstbibliothek, part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin alliance, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz). In 1923, Haupt expressed the wish “that the collection will be catalogued in a detailed index that complies with scientific requirements, and that it will gain wider recognition in and outside Hannover.”

It is now possible to meet his wish, thanks to funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG).

Object of the month

January 2021

Federico Zuccari(?), The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, 3rd quarter of 16th century,

drawing, 37.8 x 19.8 cm, pen, brown ink, red chalk, heightened with white, gold leaf, squared with red chalk

TIB Slg. Albrecht Haupt, kl. I. Z. M 5:6

The present drawing is not in good condition: stains, cracks, holes and missing parts testify to extensive use of the sheet - as does the squaring. Both indicate that the drawing served as a model for a transfer into a large-format painting or fresco.

Depicted is The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, a scene from the childhood of the mother of Jesus: at the age of three, Mary is presented to the high priest of the temple of Jerusalem. Accompanied by her parents Anna and Joachim, she climbs the steps alone to place herself in the care of the priest.

The central perspective composition shows the scene in a barrel-vaulted vestibule. Two cornices supported by composite columns draw the viewer's gaze into the depths of the pictorial space. In the foreground, below and to the sides of this view, the figurative staff is grouped. On the left, the high priest is receiving Mary, who is offering him a long, thin candle. The 15 steps that Mary climbs, according to written tradition, have been omitted. Anna and Joachim, who are depicted at an advanced age, dismiss their little girl trustingly and with demonstratively outstretched arms. The scene is accompanied by temple servants, visitors and merchants who are attentively following the events.

An older passe-partout note attributes the print to the Italian painter and printmaker Francesco Mazzola called Parmigianino (1503–1540). Here, Federico Zuccari (c. 1540–1609) from central Italy, two generations younger, is suggested as the author: The drawing lines, composition, physiognomies and motivic details known from other works (cf. the preparatory drawings and surviving paintings for the decoration of the Cappella Grimani in S. Francesco della Vigna in Venice, 1566) speak for a creation by his hand in the 60s of the 16th century.