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Fabio Franz

Fabio FranzThesis: The Manchester 1857 Exhibition. A Turning Point for Scharf, Cavalcaselle, Crowe and Waagen

Supervisor: Michael Hatt


I graduated (BA and MA) at the University of Udine, Italy, under the supervision of Donata Levi and Linda Borean. My previous research took me to Saint Petersburg (State Hermitage Museum, State Museum of the History of Religion, Rumyantsev Mansion) and Moscow (Pushkin Museum), under the supervision of Francesca Cappelletti and Irina Artemieva, thanks to a grant from the Ermitage Italia Foundation (Ferrara, 2012). I researched also in Stockholm in 2012 (Nationalmuseum and Swedish Royal Academy of Art, under the supervision of Martin Olin) and 2015 (Centrum for Näringslivshistoria, under the supervision of Vadim Azbel), thanks to two different scholarships from the C. M. Lerici Stiftelsen. I also studied in Copenhagen in 2013 (Statens Museum for Kunst) under the supervision of Chris Fischer. In 2013 I published an essay on G. B. Cavalcaselle’s 1865 Swedish journey in the 19th issue of the Art Bulletin of the Stockholm Nationalmuseum.

Research interests

For his PhD in Warwick I have researched on:

  • the 'Art Treasures of Great Britain' exhibition (Manchester, 5th March - 17th October 1857)
  • George Scharf's Old Masters connoisseurship
  • J. A. Crowe’s connoisseurship and diplomatic activity
  • G. B. Cavalcaselle - G. F. Waagen: alleged rivalry, journeys, Russian and Western legacy (provenance research, connoisseurship, museography, conservation)
  • Cavalcaselle-Crowe connoisseurial and editorial partnership
  • N. L. A. Høyen
  • Old Masters provenance research
  • Germanification of 19th-century European and Russian museums and culture
  • Old Masters' role in defining the European, Russian, Northern and Latin American identity
  • geopolitics and art market, art collecting, art history
  • photography (e.g. Ivan Bianchi in Russia, Victorian Raphaelesque corpus) as a source for art history studies
  • Imperial Saint-Petersburg collections of Old Masters
  • formation, critical fortune and dispersal of the art collection of the dukes of Leuchtenberg
  • Old Masters' dealers, curators and experts (Trotti, Wertheimer, Beskow, von Bode, Berenson, Borenius, Siren) allegedly involved in the dispersal of the Tsarist Russian collections of Western Old Masters
  • Sebastiano del Piombo
  • Hubert van Eyck
  • Dirk Bouts
  • Bernardino Luini
  • Ferrarese Renaissance painting
  • Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (19th-century collecting and critical fortune)

My research focuses on Scharf's papers in the Heinz Archive (Natrional Portrait Gallery, London), some recently-found papers in the Crowe Bequest to the National Art Library (V&A) in London and Cavalcaselle's papers in the Cavalcaselle Bequest to the Marciana National Library in Venice. Other archival and museum surveys might be conducted in the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Russia and hopefully in the USA and Argentina.

During my PhD at Warwick Fabio I gave a paper on the cosmopolitan Tsarist Saint-Petersburg collections of Western Old Masters at the 3rd Graduate Workshop of the Russian Art Culture Group (Jacobs University, Bremen, 26-27/11/2015). The symposium's proceedings were published in the 2017 issue of Brill's journal of Russian culture Experiment.

I gave a paper also at the international conference ‘Andrea Schiavone. Painting, printmaking and drawing in sixteenth-century Venice’ (Marciana National Library and Cini Foundation, Venice, 31/03/2016 – 02/04/2016). The conference proceedings were published in 2018 by Lineadacqua.

My article on J. A. Crowe's and G. B. Cavalcaselle's individual connoisseurial journeys to Denmark was published in the 2018 issue of the journal MDCCC 1800 (Ca' Foscari University of Venice).