The Markgräfin Karoline Luise of Baden (1723–1783) assembled a first-class private cabinet of paintings in the Karlsruhe palace, which later formed the foundation for the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. A network of agents in the commercial centres of the European art world provided her with catalogues of collections, prints series, and literature on art and aesthetics. She was promptly informed about up-coming auctions, and in her purchase decisions the Markgräfin acted independently and with sound judgment.
The online information system „Karoline Luise of Baden: Art and Correspondence“ links the artworks of the paintings cabinet with the Markgräfin’s extensive correspondence, which is contained in her estate papers in the Großherzogliches Familienarchiv in the Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe.
The correspondence with more than 750 personalities provides a fascinating look at the collecting practices and, in addition, the cultural life of Enlightenment Europe. We meet the philosopher Voltaire, the art connoisseur and royal mistress Madame de Pompadour, the botanist Linnaeus, the art agent Eberts and the Comte de Vence, one of the great collectors of his time.
This project is a collaboration between the Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe and the Università della Svizzera italiana financed by the VolkswagenStiftung Hannover.