0004 Zur Vorgeschichte des Dresdner Kupferstich-Kabinetts zwischen 1560 und 1738
Though the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett was properly established only in 1720, the electoral Saxon Kunstkammer and library in Dresden included a collection of prints and drawings from their very beginnings in the mid-16th century. The article focuses on this early, and rarely discussed, history of the collection. From the Dresden holdings and hitherto unexamined sources, exemplary insights can be gained into scope, structure, aims, and accessibility of an early modern collection of art on paper. This throws light on issues in the history of science and of collecting art, on courtly representation, as well as on early modern discourses on art and order. In particular, it can be shown that the foundation of the Kupferstich-Kabinett in the early 18th century was the result of long and complex processes and developments, manifesting ever-evolving and constantly changing scientific taxonomies. Comparison of the Dresden collection with those in Munich, Ambras, Prag, and Paris, underscores the unparalleled continuity of its history.
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