Max Friedländer

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Friedländer, Max


Born June 5, 1867, in Berlin; died Oct. 11, 1958, in Amsterdam. German art historian.

Friedländer and B. Berenson were the leading representatives of connoisseurship. A student of W. Bode’s, Friedländer became the first director of the Picture Gallery of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin in 1924 and remained director until 1933; the museum’s collections are now located primarily in the Picture Gallery of the West Berlin Art Museums. In 1938 he moved to Amsterdam. Friedländer’s principal works are devoted to German and Dutch art of the 15th and 16th centuries.


Der Kunstkenner. Berlin, 1919. In Russian translation: Znatok iskusstva, Moscow, 1923.
Die altniederländische Malerei, vols. 1–14. Berlin, 1924–37.
Von Kunst und Kennerschaft. Oxford-Zürich, 1946.


M. J. Friedländer: Erinnerungen und Aufzeichnungen. Mainz-Berlin, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Chapter 1 demonstrates how Panofsky's authoritative account of the canonical masters Hans Memling and Hugo van der Goes consolidates the Hegelian criteria of naturalism and genius, enshrined in the nationalist scholarship of Max Friedlander, Wilhelm Worringer, and Max Dvorak, among others.
Since the early twentieth century, Goltzius's reputation has been wrapped up with that of Mannerism, itself a supposedly malformed, anticlassical phenomenon rehabilitated only in the 1920s by expressionist historians like Max Dvorak and Max Friedlander. Scholars who spied a hint of the avant-garde buoyed Goltzius's reassessment, for along with El Greco and Tintoretto he seemed to embody the fantastic and the potentially surreal.
"It is in the nature of a work of art to speak ambiguously, like an oracle" (Max Friedlander).