Dürer©

Dürer©

Selections from The Sunaert Collection, Ghent University Library

 

Selections from The Sunaert Collection, Ghent University Library

 

Adolf Pieter Sunaert (1825-1876), painter of mythological and historical themes and professor of algebra, geometry, stonecutting, and perspective at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent from 1857, is known to have been actively involved in civic life, and donated his voluminous collection of more than five thousand prints to the university of Ghent just prior to his death. Though details are scarce, Sunaert previously taught technical drawing at the Nijverheidsschool and produced a compendium for the Museum van Gent in which he inventoried all the paintings situated in the city’s churches and public spaces.

 

The Sunaert collection covers all periods and styles, making his personal taste elusive and lending credence to the theory that Sunaert, rather than seeking out singular prints individually, procured en masse from dealers and collectors. Nevertheless, the sheer number of Dürer-related prints—65 in total—indicates that through the sustained act of collecting, Sunaert developed a penchant for Dürer, whom he sought out specifically, acquiring unmistakable impressions such as those from Dürer’s Apocalypse, alongside the many permutations created after Dürer originals. Perhaps influenced by his background in the sciences, Sunaert catalogued many of his prints, minimally differentiating engravings from woodcuts. He dedicated a special folder to Dürer, in which he correctly identified many of the works in his possession as copies, an endeavour feasible only through a deep and sustained familiarity with the artist’s oeuvre.

 

In this album you’ll find an overwiew of the Dürer prints and copies in our collection. We hope you enjoy them!