Georg Gronau Research Papers

Scope and Content

This collection consists principally of the research papers of Georg Gronau. The majority of the 175 items listed are articles on Italian Renaissance art, including a number written by Georg Gronau himself, taken from publications. Most are in German or Italian, with a few in English, French or another language. Many have handwritten annotations on the cover and inside. While most of the items date from between 1900 and 1937, the year of Georg Gronau’s death, some were published much earlier and a few are posthumous in date. Many of the items are fragile, with loose or torn pages. There are also a number of press cuttings on newsprint and some photographic prints.

Administrative / Biographical History

Art historian and critic Dr Georg Gronau was born in 1868. He studied at the universities of Bonn and Berlin, with his research interest focussing on Venetian art. In the 1890s he purchsed an Italian villa, San Domenico, in Fiesole, where he lived until 1910. From there he wrote books on Titian (1900 and in English translation in 1904), Raphael (1902), Leonardo (1903), Correggio (1907) and the Bellini family (1909). In 1910 he moved back to Germany to become the Director of the Royal Gallery in Cassel, a position which he held for 14 years. During World War I his eldest son was killed in combat. Georg Gronau retired from the Cassel Gallery in 1924 and returned to live at San Domenico in 1929. His Bellini chronology was published in 1930. He died at home in Dec 1937.


The majority of the collection was already arranged into files upon its discovery in the library. Two bundles of loose items have been arranged into the files ‘Italian art 1’ (NGA32/5), ‘Italian art 2’ (NGA32/6) and ‘Flemish, Netherlandish and French art’ (NGA32/7). Within each file, the items have been kept in the order in which they were accessioned. Rather than alphabetically or chronologically by publication date, items are grouped together in many places according to author, artist, painting or subject matter.

Access Information


Custodial History

The papers were donated via Carol Plazzotta of the Gallery's Curatorial Department. They were discovered in the library in August 2013. The name of the donor and date of the gift were not recorded. Since some of the material dates from after Georg Gronau's death, it is likely that the collection was added to by his second son, Dr Hans Dietrich Gronau (1904-1951) or Hans Dietrich's widow, Carmen Gronau née von Wogau (1910-1999), both of whom were also art historians.

Related Material

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Georg Gronau collection.