Instytut Historii Sztuki <Posen> [Editor]
Artium Quaestiones — 15.2004

Page: 15
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/artium_quaestiones2004/0017
License: Free access  - all rights reserved Use / Order
0.5
1 cm
facsimile
BRIDGING THE GAP - COUNT ATHANAZY RACZYŃSKI AND HIS GALLERIES IN POLAND AND PRUSSIA

15

developed his own concept of style - more often than not intermingling it
with his political views.
The opposite of the timeless ‘beauty’ praised by Raczyński would be
naturalistic representation. The latter was mainly esteemed by the
bourgeoisie whose aesthetic judgements were gaining in weight.41 A con-
servative politically, Raczyński perceived art as revolutionary - and
thus unhealthy - in works which exhibited ‘naturalistic representa-tion’.
This applied to Delacroix as well as to Turner whose ‘uneducated, ill-
bred brushwork’ the count particularly disliked.42 In order to promote
his conviction of the important role of religion for a society, Raczyński
largely relied on the works of the Nazarenes he held in particularly high
esteem.

MAKING POLITICS IN THE WORLD OF ART
Deeply convinced of his own position Raczyński commended his
tastes to his contemporaries as the ultimate aesthetic ideal. On an inter-
national level he attempted to promote these by publishing a Geschichte
der Neueren Deutschen Kunst (History of German Contemporary Art),43
a three-volume work constituting the very first survey of contemporary
German art. It appeared in print between 1837 and 1841 simultaneously
in German and French, which illustrates the author’s determination to
reach a European public. Raczyński personally covered all the expenses
for the lavish print with a high number of illustrations himself. Apart
from his intention to promote his aesthetic views, this can be seen as
token of Raczyhski’s allegiance to his chosen country. The count saw
himself as an ambassador of German art - thus he recommended several
German painters to Sir Charles Eastlake for the decoration of the
Houses of Parliament in London.44
The time when Raczyński worked for his Geschichte der Neueren
Deutschen Kunst coincides with the time when he held no office. While

41 Karsten Borgmann, ‘Die Integrationskraft der Elite. Museumsgeschichte als
Sozialgeschichte’, in Miiseumsinszenierungen. Zur Geschichte der Institution des Kunst-
museums. Die Berliner Museumslandschaft 1830-1990, ed. by Alexis Joachimides/ Sven
Kuhrau, Dresden/ Basel 1995, p. 95.
42 Helmut Börsch-Supan, ‘Die Geschichte der Neueren Deutschen Kunst von Atha-
nasius Graf Raczyński’, in Beiträge zur Rezeption der Kunst des 19. und 20. Jahr-
hunderts, ed. by Wulf Schadendorf, Munich 1975, p. 19.
43 Athanasius Raczyński, Geschichte der Neueren Deutschen Kunst, Berlin 1836-41.
44 Raczyński diaries, entry for 28 November 1841; William Vaughan, German Ro-
manticism and English Art, New Haven/ London 1979, pp. 54-56.
loading ...