Ruins of the Suburbs of Dresden after the Bombardment of 1760

1766
Bernardo Bellotto (Italian (Venetian), 1720–1780)


Catalogue Raisonné

de Vesme 33, only state; Meyer 33; Rizzi I 26, only state; Fritzsche 33; Kozakiewicz II.242.302

Dimensions

Sheet: 59.9 x 73.4 cm (23 9/16 x 28 7/8 in.) Platemark: 52.9 x 63.6 cm (20 13/16 x 25 1/16 in.) Other (Mat): 76.8 x 101.6 cm (30 1/4 x 40 in.)

Accession Number

2002.903

Medium or Technique

Etching

Not On View

Collections

Europe, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

This is a strange image, as it commemorates a catastrophe. In 1760, the Prussian army besieged Dresden, capital of Saxony, and destroyed large parts of the city. Bellotto, painter to the King of Saxony, recorded the destruction. His images may have had value as propaganda, for across Europe the Prussians were roundly condemned for the equivalent of war crimes. This particular scene may also have had personal resonance; Bellotto lived in this neighborhood, and his house had been destroyed.

Inscription

Verso, lower left, in graphite pencil: A 1964-661 / Fritzsche 33 / Schloßbergung / 2152 / N26696

Signed

Signed and dated in the plate

Markings

Verso, center, stamped in gray-brown ink, the mark of the Kupferstichkabinett, Dresden (Lugt 693b); verso, bottom right-center, stamped in brown ink, the mark of the MFA (Lugt 282)

Provenance

Schloss Nöthnitz, Saxony; nationalized by the East German government (Schloßbergung 2152); incorporated into the Dresden Kupferstichkabinett (Lugt 693b)(inv. no. A1964-661); returned to heirs, 2001; sold at auction, Günther, Dresden, Germany, March 26, 2002 (6,000 Euros); purchased by Kunsthandel Jörg Maaß, Berlin, and James Bergquist, Newton, Massachusetts; from whom purchased by MFA December 18, 2002

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by Ruth V. S. Lauer in memory of Julia Wheaton Saines