View of the 240 metre-long stepped cascade on the slope of the Karlsberg, engraved by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr (350 × 490 mm, platemark) View larger
View of the 240 metre-long stepped cascade on the slope of the Karlsberg, engraved by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr (350 × 490 mm, platemark)
Fünck (Johann Georg), 1721-1757

Plans and views of the gardens at Kassel-Weissenstein

Kassel, Wolfgang Christoph Mayr, c. 1750

A fine suite of four numbered prints recording the extensive gardens on the Karlsberg, a broad hillside which rises above Kassel, the seat of the Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel seven kilometres away.

Offered with four associated prints, also engraved and published by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr, and struck on untrimmed sheets of the same paper, depicting the grotto in the gardens of Schloß Wilhelmsthal, a summer residence in the village of Calden near Kassel, and the Karlsaue, a three kilometre-long garden on the left bank of the Fulda.

Subjects
Garden design - Germany - Kassel - Early works to 1800
Germany - Description and travel - Early works to 1800
Prints - Artists, German - Mayr (Wolfgang Christoph), active 1750-1776
Authors/Creators
Fünck, Johann Georg, 1721-1757
Artists/Illustrators
Fünck, Johann Georg, 1721-1757
Guerniero, Giovanni Francesco, c. 1665-1745
Knobelsdorff, Georg Wenceslaus von, 1699-1753
Mayr, Wolfgang Christoph, active 1750-1776
Tischbein, Johann Heinrich, 1722-1789
Printers/Publishers
Mayr, Wolfgang Christoph, active 1750-1776
Other names
Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, 1720-1785

Fünck, Johann Georg
Augsburg 1721 – 1757 Kassel

Plans and views of the gardens at Kassel-Weissenstein

Kassel, Wolfgang Christoph Mayr, [circa 1750]

Four prints (each circa 360 × 495 mm platemark, struck on untrimmed sheets uniformly 520 × 740 mm), engraved by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr after drawings by Fünck, match­ing impressions in first state, numbered i–iiii

■ (i) Prospect des Carls-Berges oder der berühmten Grotten und Wasserfälle bey Cassel so weit dieses Werck bishero ausgeführet worden [also in French] | J.G. Fünck Arch del. | W. C. Mäÿr Sculp | à Cassel chez W.C. Mayr graveur de la Cour | Cum Privil. Sac. Caes. Majest . | [numbered lower right] i

■ (ii) Durchschnitt und Grundriss dersämtlichen Bau- und Wasserwercke des Carlsberges [also in French] | J.G. Fünck Arch del. | W. C. Mäÿr Sculp | à Cassel chez W.C. Mayr gra­veur de la Cour | Cum Privil. Sac. Caes. Majest . | [numbe­red lower right] ii

■ (iii) Das obere achteckigte Hauptgebäude, von vornen anzuse­hen [also in French] | J.G. Fünck Arch del. | W. C. Mäÿr Sculp | à Cassel chez W.C. Mayr graveur de la Cour | Cum Privil. Sac. Caes. Majest . | [numbered lower right] iii

■ (iv) Durchschnitt des Hauptgebaudes, von innen des Hofes anzusehen [also in French] | J.G. Fünck Arch del. | W. C. Mäÿr Sculp | à Cassel chez W.C. Mayr graveur de la Cour | Cum Privil. Sac. Caes. Majest . | [numbered lower right] iiii

Offered with four associated prints also engraved by Mayr (see below).

paper watermark in all eight prints a crowned shield with wolf, lettered beneath I A V | Wolfeg[g].1

provenance ‘A German Family of Title’, consigned to Christie’s, ‘Old Master, Modern and Contemporary prints’, London, 18 December 2001, lots 2, 16.

Superb impressions on full sheets.

A suite of prints recording the extensive gardens on the Karlsberg, a broad hillside which rises above Kassel, the seat of the Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel seven kilome­tres away.

This park (renamed Wilhelmshöhe in 1798) had been designed by an Italian stucca­tore and would-be archi­tect, Giovanni Francesco Guerniero, whose lavishly illus­trated Delineatio montis, published in 1705, pre­sented the project as if completed. When Guerniero departed Kassel, in 1715, however, only about a third of his designs had been executed, owing to technical difficulties and stupendous cost. Our plans and views, drawn at mid-century by the Landesbaudirektor to Friedrich i at Kassel, Johann Georg Fünck, en­graved and published by the Hofkupferstecher Wolfgang Christoph Mayr (d. 1776), are therefore of great interest, as records of the actual appearance of these Baroque gardens at mid-century, as a last glimpse before the extensive remod­elling ordered by Landgrave Friedrich ii.

View (i) and plan (ii) of the 240 metre-long stepped cascade on the slope of the Karlsberg, engraved by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr (sheets 520 × 740 mm)

The first of the four numbered prints is a view (‘Prospect des Carls-Berges’) empha­sising the Octagon, a pavilion some two hundred feet high surmounted by a thirty-foot tall copy of the Farnese Hercules, and the Cascade, a complex, stepped water­fall interrupted by grottoes and fountains.2 The second print (ii) is a plan,3 and prints (iii) and (iv) show the Octagon in elevation and section.4 The prints subsequently were issued with added publication line à trouver dans l’Officine du Mr. Seligmann.

Elevation (iii) and section (iv) of the Octagon and Hercules monument, engraved by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr after Johann Georg Fünck (sheets 520 × 740 mm)
Joined to our suite are four unnumbered prints (ad) engraved on matrices of differ­ent sizes, but struck on untrimmed sheets of the same paper as the previous four prints, all also engraved and published by Mayr:

■ (a) Die Grotte zu Wilhelmsthal (305 × 490 mm platemark), engraved by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr after a drawing by Fünck

■ (b) Grundriss der Lust und Orangerie Garten in der Carlsaue beÿ Cassell (450 × 690 mm platemark), engraved by Mayr after a drawing by Fünck

■ (c) Aussicht der Orangerie des grossen Gartens von der Mittag seite anzusehen (330 × 490 mm platemark), engraved by Mayr after a painting by Johann Heinrich Tischbein the Elder

■ (d) Aussicht des Teiches des grossen Gartens von der Seite der Oberneustadt von Cassel (334 × 485mm platemark), engraved by Mayr after a painting by Johann Heinrich Tischbein the Elder

View (a) of the grotto in the gardens of Schloß Wilhelmsthal, a summer residence in the village of Calden near Kassel (sheet 520 × 740 mm)

The first of these associated prints (a) depicts the grotto in the gardens of Schloß Wilhelmsthal, a summer residence in the village of Calden near Kassel. This grotto had been designed by the Prussian architect Georg Wenceslaus von Knobelsdorff, whose pupil Fünck was before his appointment in Kassel in 1746. Fünck himself was responsible for laying out the surrounding gardens and his drawing for the engraver Mayr survives in Kassel.5

Plan (b) of the Karlsaue, engraved by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr after J.G. Fünck (sheet 520 × 740 mm)
View (c) of Orangerie in der Karlsaue, engraved by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr after J.G. Fünck and J.H. Tischbein the Elder (sheet 520 × 740 mm)

The other three associated prints are a plan (b) and two views of the Karlsaue (c–d), a three kilometre-long Renais­sance garden on the left bank of the Fulda. The plan was drawn by Fünck and engraved by Mayr; the view of the Orangerieschloß (c), built in 1710–1711, with a pavilion added a decade later to accommodate sculp­ture by Pierre Etienne Monnot, was engraved by Mayr after a paint­ing by Johann Heinrich Tischbein the Elder (1722–1789), Hofmaler and Direktor der Kasseler Akademie; and the view of the gardens (d), showing the large pond and its island, also was engraved by Mayr after a painting by J.H. Tischbein the Elder.

reference Katalog der Ornamentstichsammlung der Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek Berlin (Berlin 1939), no.3349
View (d) of the large basin in the park of Karlsaue, engraved by Wolfgang Christoph Mayr after a painting by J.H. Tischbein the Elder (sheet 520 × 740 mm)

1. The initials signify Joseph Anton Unold (1717–1785), proprietor of the papermill ‘in der Hölle’ near Wolfegg.

2. Other impressions ● Berlin, Kunstbibliothek, Ornamentstich­sammlung, 3349 (reproduced in Architektur in Darstel­lung und Theorie, exhi­bition catalogue by Marianne Fischer, Kunstbib­liothek Berlin, 1969, pp.70–71 no. 111: ‘Die Folge umfasst fünf Kupfertafeln, vier zeigen Ansichten der Anlagen in Wilhelmshöhe [our (i)-(iv)], die fünfte die Grotte in Wilhelmsthal [our (a)]’) ● Darmstadt, Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, Karten­sammlung, Ansicht 3473 (http://tukart.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/115/) ● Kassel, Staatliche Museen, Graphische Sammlung, 9746 (Der Schlosspark Wilhelmshöhe in Ansichten der Romantik, catalogue of an exhibition held in Ballhaus am Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, 4 April–27 June 1993, edited by Ulrich Schmidt, Kassel 1993, p.110 no. 6) ● Marburg, Hessisches Staatsarchiv (Hans Enno Korn, Landgraf Karl von Hessen-Kassel, 1654–1730, catalo­gue of an exhibition of the Hessischen Staatsar­chivs, Marburg 1980, pp.35–36 no. 91; Inken Formann, ‘Warum wurde erhalten, was bereits im Bau verfiel?: Gedanken über die Gründe für die Erhaltung der Wasserkünste des Schloss­parks Wilhelmshöhe’ in ‘Alles scheint Natur, so glücklich ist die Kunst versteckt’: Bernd Modrow zum 65. Geburtstag, Munich 2007, p.38 Abb. 5).

3. ● Kassel, Staatliche Museen, Graphische Sammlung, 12252.

4. ● Berlin, Kunstbibliothek, Ornamentstichsammlung, 3349 (Architektur in Darstellung und Theorie, op. cit., pp.70–71 no. 111, with reproduction of print iii) ● Kassel, Staatliche Museen, Graphische Sammlung, 9746–9747 (Herkules: Tugendheld und Herrscherideal: das Herkules-Monument in Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe, catalogue of an exhibition held at Staatlichen Museen Kassel, edited by Christian Lukatis und Hans Ottomeyer, Eurasburg 1997, pp.157–158 nos. 60–61 Abb. 112–113; Korn, op. cit., no. 92, with reproduction of print iii). Fritz Lometsch, Wilhelmshöhe. Natur und Formergeist in dem schönsten Bergpark Europas (Kassel 1961), pls. 44–45, unlocated impressions of (iii) and (iv). Simplified copies in reduced format accom­panied Friedrich Christoph Schmincke and Friedrich Groschuff’s Versuch einer genauen und umständlichen Beschreibung der… Hauptstadt Cassel (Kassel 1767).

5. Kassel, Museum Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, Graphische Samm­lung, 7017 (‘Bestands­katalog der Architektur­zeichnungen’: http://212.202.106.6:8080/dfg/museumkassel/show.jsp). Bernhard Schnackenburg, ‘François de Cuvilliés und Georg Wenceslaus von Knobelsdorff, zwei Antipoden der Rokokoarchitektur in Wilhelmsthal bei Kassel’ in Kunst­chronik 11 (November 1997), pp.593–599, fig. 5; Triumph of the Baroque: architecture in Europe, 1600–1750, catalogue of an exhibition held at Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, July–November 1999, and at other venues, edited by Henry A. Millon (New York 1999), pp.491–492 no. 224.

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