Research projects

Niklaus Manuel (c. 1484–1530). Catalogue raisonné. Print and online version

Led by
Juerg Albrecht (until 31 January 2015), Katharina Ammann (since 1 April 2015)
Partner
Hans Christoph von Tavel, Burgerbibliothek Bern
Authors
Hans Christoph von Tavel, Michael Egli, with contributions from Petra Barton Sigrist
Duration
2007–2017
Series
«Catalogues Raisonnés of Swiss Artists», volume 29

Description

Niklaus Manuel of Bern (c. 1484–1530), painter, graphic artist, writer and statesman, was a prominent figure in Switzerland at the dawn of the modern era. The gripping story of Niklaus Manuel’s life intertwines closely with historical and ecclesiastical processes in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, casting light on the history of Bern and the Swiss Confederacy. When we consider his artistic œuvre, with its compelling originality and extraordinary graphic quality, we cannot but notice Manuel’s critical re-evaluation of pictorial conventions established in the Middle Ages. His compositions frequently founded on perspective, a characterisation of human form that seeks guidance from anatomy, a fidelity to natural detail and a fondness for mythological themes are hallmarks of his work which are all quite rightly associated with the Renaissance.

The book was published jointly with Burgerbibliothek Bern as a volume in the series «Schriften der Burgerbibliothek Bern» and SIK-ISEA’s «Catalogues Raisonnés of Swiss Artists». The publication was scheduled to coincide with the exhibition on the life and work of Niklaus Manuel which opened at Bern Historical Museum in 2017. As a companion to the print version of the catalogue raisonné, the online version at www.niklaus-manuel.ch will offer a number of search facilities.

Order publication

Niklaus Manuel, The Judgement of Paris, c. 1519, unvarnished tempera on canvas, 227.8 x 165.3 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Inv. 422, photo: Kunstmuseum Basel (Martin P. Bühler)

Niklaus Manuel, inside left wing of the St Anne Retable: Joachim and Anna meet at the Golden Gate, 1514/1515, mixed technique on wood, 120.5 x 83.6 cm, Kunstmuseum Bern, holdings of the Gottfried Keller-Stiftung, Photo: SIK-ISEA, Zürich (Philipp Hitz)

Niklaus Manuel, Votive image of the Virgin, Child and St Anne, c. 1517, cloth painting, 139 x 112 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, photo: Kunstmuseum Basel (Martin P. Bühler)

Niklaus Manuel, Lucretia, 1517, mixed technique on wood, 32.4 x 26.9 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, photo: Kunstmuseum Basel (Martin P. Bühler)

Niklaus Manuel, The Beheading of John the Baptist, c. 1517/1518, tempera on wood, 33.8 x 25.9 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, photo: Kunstmuseum Basel (Martin P. Bühler)

Niklaus Manuel, Self-Portrait, 1520, mixed technique on parchment, 34.4 x 28.5 cm, Kunstmuseum Bern, photo: SIK-ISEA, Zürich (Philipp Hitz)

Niklaus Manuel, Amorous Liaison, c. 1512/1514, pen and black ink, washed, white highlights and yellow brushwork in parts on red brown prepared paper, 20.7 x 19.2 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: Kunstmuseum Basel (Martin P. Bühler)

Niklaus Manuel, Witch carrying Manuel’s skull through the air, c. 1513, pen and black ink, white highlights, pale brown orange prepared paper, 30.9 x 20.9 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: Kunstmuseum Basel (Martin P. Bühler)

Niklaus Manuel, Study for a Foolish Virgin, c. 1514, black chalk on paper, 30.9 x 20.2 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: Kunstmuseum Basel (Martin P. Bühler)

Niklaus Manuel, The Mocking of Christ, c. 1514, pen and brown black ink, white brushwork highlights, nimbus in gold, on pale brown red prepared paper, 31.2 x 21.5 cm, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, photo: The J. Paul Getty Museum

Niklaus Manuel, Island Rock, c. 1515, pen and black ink on paper, 25.9 x 19.9 cm, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: bpk / Kupferstichkabinett, SMB (Jörg P. Anders)

Niklaus Manuel, panel from the book Death and the Girl, c. 1517, watercolour on chalk priming, on wood, 10.7 x 8 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: Kunstmuseum Basel (Martin P. Bühler)

Niklaus Manuel, Virgin and Child by a Column, c. 1518/1520, pen and black ink, white highlights on brown prepared paper, 31 x 21 cm, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: bpk / Kupferstichkabinett, SMB (Jörg P. Anders)

Niklaus Manuel, King Josiah Orders the Idols to be Destroyed, 1527, pen and brown ink, brown and grey wash, tinted reddish brown, 43 x 31.9 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett, photo: Kunstmuseum Basel (Martin P. Bühler)

The project was supported by:

  • Athene Stiftung, Basel
  • Jean Bonna, Genf
  • Burgergemeinde Bern, Burgerbibliothek
  • Burgerliche Ersparniskasse Bern, Genossenschaft
  • Donation Maria Bindschedler, Zürich
  • Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Zug
  • Fondation Johanna Dürmüller-Bol, Muri bei Bern
  • Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft Basel
  • Gesellschaft zu Ober-Gerwern, Bern
  • Gottfried und Ursula Schäppi-Jecklin Stiftung, Horgen
  • GVB Kulturstiftung, Bern
  • Koller Auktionen AG, Zürich
  • Pierre Kottelat, Zürich
  • Kultur Stadt Bern
  • Kultur-Stiftung der Burgergemeinde Bern
  • Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung (Online-Version)
  • Erwin Reinhardt, Bern
  • Ruth & Arthur Scherbarth Stiftung, Bern
  • Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Bern
  • Starr International Foundation, Zug
  • Stiftung Graphica Helvetica, Bern
  • Stiftung Pro Scientia et Arte, Bern
  • Stiftung Vinetum, Biel
  • Susann Häusler-Stiftung, Bern
  • Swisslos / Kultur Kanton Bern
  • Ursula Wirz-Stiftung, Bern
  • Zunftgesellschaft zum Affen, Bern
  • and other private benefactors who wish to remain anonymous