Il conte von Ingenheim tra arte e religione. Un collezionista prussiano in Italia
Count Gustav Adolf von Ingenheim (1789-1855), half-brother of Frederic William II, king of Prussia, started collecting art during his first journey to Italy in 1816. In the following years more than 100 paintings were added to his collection (mostly works from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries). Ingenheim also bought many antiques and was known as an art patron as well. In 1824 he returned to Italy with an official assignment to purchase works of art for the royal museums of Berlin. In 1826, despite having been explicitly forbidden to do so by his royal half-brother, Ingenheim decided to abjure the religion of his ancestors and embraced the catholic faith. Despite grave financial problems his collection of paintings remained almost intact. Ingenheim had selected them not only for their esthetical value, the religious content was essential to him as well. His collection of religious art can therefore be viewed as the visualization of his spiritual development, the conclusion of which was his conversion to Catholicism.