Ruins of the Suburbs of Dresden after the Bombardment of 1760

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


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


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Europe, Prints and Drawings



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.


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


Signed and dated in the plate


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)


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