Stephanie Andrea Sailer




Stephanie Andrea Sailer studied art history as well as business, economics and social sciences in Vienna, Madrid and Siena. Since 2019 she works for the Vienna Center for the History of Collecting conducting among others research on Viennese drawings collections. In February 2020 she started working as a research and teaching fellow at the Department of Art History, University of Vienna supporting Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sebastian Schütze and his chair for art in the early modern period. Furthermore, she is pursuing research on Vienna as a center for collecting and trade in Dürer’s drawings which will culminate in her dissertation project.  

Research interests: Art in the Early Modern Period in Europe, Drawings and Prints, History of Collecting, Provenance Research

Current research project: “Wien als Dürerstadt” - Vienna as a center for collecting and trade with drawings by Dürer
A strong emphasis on collecting any artwork or relic by Dürer was established very early in Vienna. The precious holdings of Viennese museums and collections (e.g., at the Albertina, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Academy of Fine Arts) are still witness to this phenomenon. Especially, drawings and watercolours were among the goods sought after by local collectors. While Dürer’s prints, paintings and art treatises were distributed in whole Europe, this concentration on drawn works of art on paper is unique for Vienna.
My research project examines the local history of collecting drawings by Dürer, starting with the early collections assembled by the Habsburgs and the Viennese nobility. From the early 19th century onwards, almost suddenly a considerable number of drawings originating from the Habsburg collection was dispersed on the art market. They can be traced, first in the hands of people close to the Albertina and the Court Library, then with Viennese art dealers and collectors, and a short time later also in the possession of international art connoisseurs. These days they belong to the world’s most renowned museums in Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Basel, Milan, Rotterdam, Paris, London, and New York. The circumstances concerning the withdrawal (or theft?) around 1800 which provoked the exodus of the “Viennese” Dürer drawings are still dubious and have never been thoroughly inspected. This dissertation will investigate this case as well as the subsequent circulation of the drawings on the Viennese art market including their worldwide dispersion in the 19th century. Studying the Viennese collection culture over a period of three centuries will enable to recognize the longstanding tradition of collecting Dürer drawings as a specific local phenomenon. Moreover, this study will contribute to the reevaluation of Vienna as an important center within a longstanding European tradition of collecting drawings and determine the collectors’ and art dealer’s role in an international network.


  • Essays on the Viennese drawings collectors Franz Jäger d. Ä., Johann Christoph Endris, Jakob Friedrich van der Nüll, Moritz von Fries, Josef Carl von Klinkosch, in: Sebastian Schütze (ed.), Kunstsammlungen in Wien, Berlin 2022 [in preparation].
  • Rembrandts Geschenkzeichnungen in dreierlei „Alba Amicorum“, in: Stefan Albl, Anna Frasca-Rath, Berthold Hub (eds.), Close Reading. Kunsthistorische Interpretationen vom Mittelalter bis in die Moderne (Festschrift für Sebastian Schütze), Berlin 2021, S. 326-345.
  • Review: Stefan Albl, Marco Simone Bolzoni (eds.), La Scintilla divina. Il disegno a Roma tra Cinque e Seicento, in: Storia dell’Arte 154, Nuova Serie 2 (2020), S. 169-173.