Printed treasure trove: Eight centuries of decorative arts
When Kunstwerke und Geräthschaften des Mittelalters und der Renaissance (1852–1863) was published, what purchasers in fact bought was a printed museum. With 216 hand-colored copperplate engravings, the publication gives a comprehensive overview of applied arts in Europe from the 9th to the 16th centuries, spanning furniture, metalwork, jewelry, tapestries, and bookbinding.
The book’s lead editor was well placed to select masterpieces from the Middle Ages through to the Renaissance from both public and private collections. Jakob Heinrich von Hefner-Alteneck (1811–1903), was head of the Royal Cabinet of Prints and Drawings in Munich and later director of the Bavarian National Museum. The signatures on the plates of Kunstwerke und Geräthschaften show that he was also the work’s main draftsman.
As much an artwork in itself as a collection of applied arts over eight centuries, this exquisite catalog is now revived in a compact TASCHEN edition. From delicate jewelry to the most elaborate goblet, it offers the contemporary reader both a record and a sourcebook for all that can be achieved by the human hand and creative imagination.
About the series:
Bibliotheca Universalis— Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe at an unbeatable, democratic price!
Since we started our work as cultural archaeologists in 1980, the name TASCHEN has become synonymous with accessible, open-minded publishing.Bibliotheca Universalis brings together nearly 100 of our all-time favorite titles in a neat new format so you can curate your own affordable library of art, anthropology, and aphrodisia.
Bookworm’s delight — never bore, always excite!