Gustav Friedrich Waagen

Gustav Friedrich scales ( born February 11, 1794 in Hamburg, † July 15, 1868 in Copenhagen ) was a German art historian.


Scales was born in 1794 in Hamburg, the son of a painter and as a nephew of the poet Ludwig Tieck. His younger brother, Carl (1800-1873) and his son Adalbert (1833-1898) was also a painter.

He started in 1812 to study at the University of Breslau, joined in 1813 as a volunteer in the Prussian army, sat at the end of the campaigns to Breslau, Dresden, Heidelberg and Munich continued his studies in Breslau and devoted himself to philosophical and historical studies. Early on, he discovered his passion for art history. He undertook a major trip to the Netherlands and first drew attention to himself by Scripture About Hubert and Jan van Eyck (Breslau 1822). In 1823 he was called to Berlin to take part in the establishment of the local museum. In 1824 he toured with Carl Friedrich Schinkel Italy. In 1828 he joined the Berlin Museum Commission and wrote the official catalog of the Art Gallery, was a Director from 1830 to 1864. After long study trips through France and England, he published three volumes on art and artists in England and Paris (Berlin 1837-1839 ), also in an enlarged (and better known ) English edition under the title The Treasures of Art in Great Britain (3 volumes, London 1854) appeared. To this was added in 1857 nor the supplementary volume Galeries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain out.

Following a trip to southern Germany and Alsace by the works of art and artists ( 2 volumes, Leipzig, 1843-45 ) published in Germany. In the years 1841-42 Scales in Italy was busy with purchases for the Berlin Museum. In the following years fall trips to London (1851 ), Paris ( 1855), Manchester ( 1857) to the local exhibitions, about which he filed a report, and many smaller fonts. Appeared in 1862 in Stuttgart, the Handbook of German and Dutch schools of painting, also after several trips to Russia The painting collection of the Imperial Hermitage in St. Petersburg (Munich 1864) and the principal monuments in Vienna (2 volumes, Vienna 1866-67 ). His scattered essays appeared collected in the Lesser Writings (edited by Alfred Woltmann, Stuttgart 1875).

Since 1844 Scales taught as an adjunct professor as the first professor of art history unpaid at the Berlin University.

Scales had a very extensive knowledge of monuments and thus joined a for that time great critical acumen. His books are now mainly as a source of information about the private art collections of the 19th century of use. He died on July 15, 1868 on a trip to Copenhagen.

The geologist Wilhelm Heinrich Scales (1841-1900) and the Bavarian Major General Gustav Scales (1832-1906) were his nephews.