About the authenticity question the Holbein's Madonna. English Gustav Theodor Fechner.pdf
About the authenticity question
Discussion and files
Gustav Theodor Fechner.
Printing and publishing by Breitkopf and Härtel.
It may be strange to some, to the treatment of a seemingly so small question, as is
shown here, to see so much room devoted to what the scope of the work has claimed,
and as much diligence as the content of it may betray; - the question has no religious,
political, social or scientific interest. But in its apparent limitation it has a not
insignificant art-historical and artistic, at the same time I would like to say national,
national interest; and even this, the peace of the world with its interests not disturbing
interests, a place may well be granted, after the larger world interests have left room
for it again.
It is a major work, if not the main work of German painting, at the same time a
favorite image of the German nation, whose authenticity it is and disputes. The fame
of the artist, in a certain sense German art is involved. A recent copy threatens to ruin
the fame of the well-known, the pride of the Dresden gallery, the German rival of the
Raphael Sixtina, by denying its claims with its own claims to authenticity and the
associated claims of beauty. This is not indifferent to the history of art, nor indifferent
to the appreciation and impact of the work. Yes, may a second-hand picture still
appeal to the first hand? Weird question, and yet! ...
Needless to say, to prove the interest of the question only in detail after it has been
sufficiently proved by the amount and zeal of the negotiations that have already been
conducted. On the one hand, these negotiations are so scattered, on the other hand,
they are so very different from each other, and the whole question is so difficult and
complicated that the situation threatens to become confusing, and it would be a pity if
the duplication of the negotiations were successful self-destructed. In addition, many
of these negotiations have been so unilaterally disregarded for opposite reasons that