Christoph Frank

Accademia di architettura – Università della Svizzera Italiana

The Karlsruhe albums and their significance for Piranesi studies

2017-2018: Spring

Weinberg Fellow in architectural history and preservation

Christoph Frank (Basel, 1963) is a historian of the classical tradition who specializes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European art and architecture with an occasional overlapping interest in twentieth-century art and politics, particularly in relation to issues of cultural looting and genocide. He studied the History of Western Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London where he received his B.A. (1986) and M.A. (1987) before continuing his studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris and at the Warburg Institute in London where he completed his Ph.D. in 1993 in the History of the Classical Tradition with a thesis entitled "The Mechanics of Triumph: Public Ceremony and Civic Pageantry under Louis XIV". Following German Unification, he worked at the Research Center for European Enlightenment Studies in Berlin/Potsdam and from 1999 until 2003 at the Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte in Rome. In 2005, he was nominated full professor of the History and Theory of Art and Architecture at the Accademia di architettura of the Università della Svizzera italiana in Mendrisio, where in 2011 he founded the Istituto di storia e teoria dell’arte e dell’architettura. He has recently written on the Roman agent Johann Friedrich Reiffenstein (1719-93), on the artistic correspondences of Margravine Karoline Luise von Baden (1723-83) and the rediscovery of Etienne-Maurice Falconet’s "L’Amitié au coeur" of 1765, stolen from the Rothschilds during WWII. Furthermore he was closely involved in the recent identification of two albums of drawings, preserved at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, and now attributed to the Roman artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78) and other members of his workshop, which will be the subject of Professor Frank’s fellowship at the Italian Academy. 

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