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Watermark Portal An Online Database for Watermarks and Papers Used for Prints and Drawings Arianna Meucci Nederlands Interuniversitair Kunsthistorisch Instituut te Florence Dutch Universitary Institute for Art History in Florence Kupferstichkabinett Online/ Printroom Online Internationale Tagung zu Graphik-Datenbanken im Internet International Conference on Online Databases for Graphic Works Wolfenbüttel, 14 -16. 03. 2011
Significance of Paper The study of paper is used to : Identify undated paper documents or expertise documents of questioned authenticity Paper studies have also a historical dimension, revealing aspects of technological evolutions, economical infrastructures, state policies, etc. interwoven into human networks across countries Knowledge of this kind is partly obtained from the physical characteristics of paper, a source of ‘hidden information’ as opposed to the visible inscription on a paper object. Watermarks constitute the most prominent characteristics examined by historians as well as reproduced and documented in catalogues. A great amount of such and similar paper data with a broad geographical and temporal spread is necessary in order to create a reliable information source. Bernstein Consortium, Ref. D 7. 8, FPR, 2009
Bernstein The Memory of Paper www. memoryofpaper. eu
Bernstein Consortium brings together all the major European actors in the field of digital historical paper expertise (hence the partner choices) coming from both humanities and computer sciences. The project consortium consists of nine partners from six countries, among which the largest collections of paper and watermarks. Austrian Academy of Sciences, Wien Archives of the State of Baden. Württemberg, Stuttgart University of Liverpool Laboratory for Occidental Medieval Studies in Paris Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague Bernstein Consortium Graz University of Technology Delft University of Technology Further institutions which have contributed prominently to the project are: üIstituto Centrale per il Restauro e la Conservazione del Patrimonio Archivistico e Librario, Rome, Italy üPaper and Watermark Museum of Fabriano, IT üInstitut Valencià de Conservació i Restauració de Béns Culturals, València, Spain Dutch University Institute for Art History Florence German National Library, Leipzig Bernstein Consortium, Ref. D 7. 8, FPR, 2009
Bernstein Project’s Goals The goal of project Bernstein was the creation of a European integrated digital environment for paper history and expertise Bernstein connects all European watermark databases accessible through the Internet It offers a comprehensive and unrivalled information source about paper A substantial further project goal was the dissemination of the achieved results to a broad audience in the form of a series of exhibitions, a book about paper history and watermarks and an easily installable software package for paper cataloguing Bernstein Consortium, Ref. D 7. 8, FPR, 2009
Piccard Online Bernstein Watermark Databases WILK - Watermarks in Incunabula printed in the Low Countries (the entire “Piccard” repertory of watermark tracings) WZMA - Watermarks of the Middle Ages created by Koninklijke Bibliotheek Database of Watermarks and Papers Used for created by Prints and Drawings Archive of the State of Baden. Württemberg (from Austrian manuscripts of the late Middle Ages) created by Austrian Academy of Sciences created by Nederlands Interuniversitair Kunsthistorisch Instituut (NIKI)
Integrated Workspace : www. memoryofpaper. eu The integrated workspace ( www. memoryofpaper. eu ) provides the digital environment necessary for the integration of resources. It is an Internet application interfaced in six languages (English, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish) that gives access to all the Bernstein resources, of which the main components are the catalogue, the atlas, the bibliography, the expertise, and the toolkit.
Bernstein Catalogue www. memoryofpaper. eu The Catalogue allows search in and data retrieval from the various online databases. The search can be formulated in six languages: all search terms are translated automatically into the supported languages according to the Bernstein vocabulary for watermark descriptions. A search in Italian for sirena is carried out also for mermaid (English) and Meerjungfrau (German). Catalogue offers three modes for the search: simple search, advanced search, and browse motif. In simple search the user just enters the search terms in a search field. The browse motif offers the possibility to navigate in the tree structure of the systematics by names or by icons. In advanced search the user can combine several search fields.
Watermark Database of the Dutch University Institute for Art History (NIKI – Nederlands Interuniversitair Kunsthistorisch Instituut) www. wm-portal. net
NIKI’s Watermark Database is an online international database, which provides a new study subsidy for the art historians, giving technical and historical information about the paper, which can help supporting and integrating art critics and historic research. By now, NIKI’s Watermark Database is unique in its genre, as it is the first database on watermarks and papers created with the specific aim at giving a support on dating, authenticating and locating the provenance of the anonymous graphics and of uncertain attribution. It is the first database on artistic papers to join an international consortium of databases (Consortium Bernstein – The Memory of Paper).
NIKI’s Watermark Database - History The Watermark Database was created by the Dutch University Institute of Art History in Florence to collect the results of a project, that started under the guidance of the Director Prof. Bert W. Meijer in 2001. The project was focused on watermarks and papers used for artistic purposes from XV to XIX century I’ve been part of this project under the supervision of project manager Dr. Georg Dietz from 2005 to 2010. My assignment referred to: • digitalization and cataloguing, • assistant to the database graphic interface, • expertise on demand (mostly for private collectors) By then, ü more than 2000 watermarks have been x-rayed and digitalized from several international institutes (British Museum, Uffizi, Louvre, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Hermitage Museum, …) ü more than 1500 of those watermarks come from prints (of artists such as Lucas van Leyden, Rembrandt, Jan Muller, Hans Baldung, Jacques Bellange and others).
NIKI’s Watermark Database - Homepage www. wm-portal. net Language: English Data accessibility can be as: ü guest : users can only read the cards ü login/registration : users can input new data, participate to forums and update old cards Link to NIKI’s website A. Meucci, Database internazionale di filigrane. . . , in: MKIF, 52. 2008, 2/3 
NIKI’s Watermark Database - Search www. wm-portal. net Simple Search : users enters a search term in the Keyword Search field. Advanced Search : users may choose among 8 parameters: 1. Creator/Artist 2. Signatures 3. Time Period 4. Keyword 5. Range 6. Exact value 7. Not Empty Value 8. Empty Value A. Meucci, Database internazionale di filigrane. . . , in: MKIF, 52. 2008, 2/3 
NIKI’s Watermark Database – Catalogue Card www. wm-portal. net Source Area Along the vertical gray bar a tree-menu visualize the four areas in witch the card is articulated, and it allows to move freely through the card fields. In the central white space are displayed the data collected in fields through witch it is possible to move with the next/back button. Along the horizontal gray bar it is possible to navigate through the database. A. Meucci, Database internazionale di filigrane. . . , in: MKIF, 52. 2008, 2/3 
NIKI’s Watermark Database – Catalogue Card www. wm-portal. net Paper Area Watermark Area Image Area Print Version A. Meucci, Database internazionale di filigrane. . . , in: MKIF, 52. 2008, 2/3 
NIKI’s Watermark Database – Synergy www. wm-portal. net The peculiar feature of the database is to be an open source : users can register themselves and participate at the growing of the archive, entering new data, editing/updating/deleting old catalogue’s cards, participating to forums to share doubts, considerations, or notes. Login/Registration area Permalink button creates a direct link from the watermark catalogue card to the catalogue card of the print/drawing in which the watermark has been found. Each area has an Additional Notes field in witch it is possible to create forums and share informations. A. Meucci, Database internazionale di filigrane. . . , in: MKIF, 52. 2008, 2/3 
Study Case 1 : Artist’s Modus Operandi Rembrandt printed in batches as needed, using whatever papers he had at hand that he felt were appropriate Evidence: The III state of the Death of the Virgin in the Hermitage Museum’s collection, the plate for which is signed and dated 1639, exists in early impressions on papers with several different watermarks. The Hermitage Museum’s impression bears a Strasbourg Bend watermark, which is the same watermark found on all impressions of The Three Crosses on which watermarks are visible, both before and after the major change to the fourth state of the plate. This indicates that Rembrandt made the Hermitage Museum’s impression of Death of the Virgin around the same time, using the same ream of paper that he used for the 1653 printings of The Three Crosses. When Rembrandt made another print of nearly identical size, Ecce Homo, in 1655, he did not use the same paper again, suggesting that he had run out of that paper by then. Rembrandt van Rijn, Death of the Virgin, Etching and drypoint (s. &d. 1639) II/III state, 1653 St. Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum, inv. 235094 Rembrandt van Rijn, The Three Crosses Etching and burin (s. &d. 1653 on III state) III/V state, 1653 London, British Museum, inv. 1973. U. 941 Strasbourg Bend
Study Case 2 : Chronology of Print States The IV state of The Three Crosses, dated on stylistical features circa 1660 -61, would have been done prior than the Ecce Homo state of 1655 Evidence : All the watermarks known of III to V state of The Three Crosses print are Strasbourg Bend, that as to say Rembrandt printed the three states on the same paper (of 1653). When Rembrandt made another print of nearly identical size, Ecce Homo, in 1655, he did not use the same paper of the three states of The Three Crosses, suggesting that he had run out of that paper by then. This provides evidence that the changes to the IV state of The Three Crosses, usually dated 1660 -61, would have had to come prior to the printing of the Ecce Homo (which is signed and dated 1655 in the VII state, but all the IV to VII state known etchings are printed on the same paper with a Strasbourg Lily as watermark). For years scholars had assumed that the IV state was made quite later, after Rembrandt had time to thoroughly rethink his subject, due to details connected to the 1661’s painting The Oath of the Batavians (Stockholm, Nationalmuseum). Eric Hinterding’s research on the watermarks found on Rembrandt’s prints, however, strongly suggests otherwise : the dating of the IV state of The Three Crosses would be anticipate to earlier than 1655, at about 1653 -1654. Strasbourg Lily Rembrandt van Rijn, The Three Crosses, Etching and drypoint (s. &d. 1653 on III state) IV/V state, 1660 -61? or 1653 -54? Vevey, Musée Jenisch, inv. DK 56 Rembrandt van Rijn, Ecce Homo, Drypoint (s. &d. 1655 in VII state) Strasbourg Bend V/VIII state, 1655 Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, inv. 9252 E. Hinterding, Rembrandt as an Etcher, 2006
Study Case 3 – Masters, Collaborators & Scolars Fra Bartolomeo Pear, in: Study for a Saint Catherine, ca. 1510’s Rotterdam, MBv. B, inv. N 71 Fra Paolino da Pistoia Pear, in: Study of a Kneeling Female Saint, ca. 1509 Rotterdam, MBv. B, inv. N 94 Fruit : pear early XIV century, 46 x 49 mm. Tuscan manufacture (Colle Val d’Elsa, Fra Bartolomeo Crescent, in: Virgin and Child, ca. 1511 -1512 Firenze, GDSU, inv. 522 E Giovanni Antonio Sogliani Crescent, in: Study of Figure, ca. 1511 -12 Rotterdam, MBv. B, inv. N 159 Crescent moon early XVI century, 41 x 38 mm. Tuscan manifacture (Colle Val d’Elsa? ) About the circle of artists among Fra Bartolomeo, watermarks can provide evidence of : 1. Coherent dating of drawings not directly connected to dated panels 2. Common paper supplies, thus common pictorial media 3. Tentative attribution when a watermark appears to be totally extraneous to the group found on the circle’s contemporary drawings 4. Watermarks of papers circulating in Florence at that time, surely created by a nearby manufacture A. Meucci, Storia dell’arte e studio delle filigrane…, post-graduate thesis, Univ. Pisa, 2005
Study Case 4 – Prints and Places Albrecht Dürer, Large Triumphal Carriage, 1522. Woodcut, eight blocks, (framed) 72, 05 x 255, 05 cm. V/VII state; Venice: Jacubus Chinig, 1589 Washington, Library of Congress, inv. FP - XV - D 955, no. 252 Watermarks help recollecting the engraved blocks roaming (thus the print history and fame) from the artist’s first edition to the last one, specially when posthumous. Watermarks can give evidence of the cultural movement of a city, especially when a foreign oeuvre reveals to have been edited on a local manufactured paper. Watermark of I and II state : Latin cross with two circles below the arms and pedestal, (possibly a countermark) Nuremberg manufacture, XVI century Watermark of V state : Initials C-SG(C? ) in escutcheon surmounted by a trefoil, countermark of Angel Venetian manufacture, XVI century Briquet, I, 636 (1572) L. S. Stiber & et al. , The Triumphal Arch. . , Book and Paper Annual, 14 (1995)
Future - Impact Ø Facilitating role. Obviously the creation of digital resources will facilitate a work until now done “manually”, improving the speed and breath of research. Ø Innovation role. By integrating content (the Bernstein paper databases and the digital graphic catalogues connected to NIKI’s archive through the “permalink” key command) with content processing tools (the image processing, cartography and bibliography software of the Bernstein system) existing data can be used in ways not possible before (for example the ability for measuring paper features provided by image processing and the statistical information generated by paper databases make the dating of paper documents possible).
Future - Involvement Ø Broadening and synergizing role. Curators who will enter new data taken from their own graphic collection in the NIKI’s Watermark Database, will give to their own collection a positive feedback, because: I. they will offer a new professional tool of research to the users of their catalogue; II. there will be presented more detailed data concerning every collection’s piece; III. thank to the Permalink key command, the world wide visibility of the collection’s catalogue will be optimized; IV. through NIKI’s WD, the graphic collection’s catalogue will be in connection with other important international graphic collections’ catalogues; V. the collection’s catalogue will be powered by a synergizing connection with NIKI’s WD and Bernstein online resources. Please consider that for any doubt or question concerning NIKI’s WD registration, data input, watermarks’ expertise or cataloguing, I will be at your disposal.
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