Working on «Depth of Thought» and «Serious Gravity»: Johann David Passavant and Early Italian Painting
Passavant began his Italian studies visiting private collections and churches in Italy in 1817, often together with his friends, the Nazarenes. Their work was characterized by intense examination and involvement with one another. The first result of this can be seen in Passavant‘s Ansichten über die bildenden Künste und Darstellung des Ganges derselben in Toscana (1820). This paper will look at Passavant’s ideas on Giotto, the artist’s study trips throughout Italy which focused on early Italian painting, Passavant’s specific influence on people from the north travelling through Italy, and his effect on museums across the Alps. Questions of expertise, the transfer of knowledge, and of trans-national influence will be addressed, in addition to the appreciation and relevance of the historical development of collections.