Exchange of Letters between Henri Fantin-Latour und Otto Scholderer (1858-1902)

From their first meeting in 1848 up until 1900 Henri Fantin-Latour and Otto Scholderer regularly exchanged letters. The two artists expressed their views on the politics of the time, practicing art and on contemporary artists as well as those from previous times. This exchange of letters is not only a testimony of a German-French friendship from a time shaped by conflicts between the two countries. It is also an important document concerning the dialogue between two artists across national borders and provides a valuable source for understanding the relationship in the field of art between Germany and France.

These 308 letters documenting the correspondence between Henri Fantin-Latour and Otto Scholderer were composed in French and are preserved by the Custodia Foundation and the library of the University of Frankfurt. Mathilde Arnoux and Anne Tempelaere-Panzani fully transcribed the hand-written original documents and added critical remarks in a research project funded by the German Forum for Art History and headed by Thomas W. Gaehtgens which began in 2004.

A selection of letters was published in 2011 in the French publication series Passagen des Deutschen Forums für Kunstgeschichte under the title “La correspondance d'Henri Fantin-Latour et Otto Scholderer (1858-1902)”. The book edition includes introductory texts, a chronology, full lists of the letters and works of Fantin-Latour and Scholderer, as well as a bibliography.

All 308 letters of this correspondence are now open to the public in an online-edition that was released in 2013. They are presented as a data base which includes two kinds of entries: On the one side the letters with critical commentary on the other the artwork by Fantin-Latour and Scholderer referred to in the letters. This allows for reading the full letters as well as searching for key words, as well as persons and works of arts mentioned in the letters.