Adolph Goldschmidt

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Adolph Goldschmidt (15 January 1863 – 5 January 1944) was a Jewish German art historian.

He was born in Hamburg. After a short business career he devoted himself (1885) to the study of the history of art at the universities of Jena, Kiel, and Leipzig. He took his degree in 1889 with the dissertation Lübecker Malerei und Plastik bis 1530, the first detailed analysis of the medieval art of northeast Germany.

After traveling through Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, England, France, and Italy, on the presentation of his work Der Albanipsalter in Hildesheim und Seine Beziehung zur Symbolischen Kirchenskulptur des 12. Jahrhunderts (1895), he became Privatdozent at the University of Berlin.

His Studien zur Geschichte der Sächsischen Skulptur in der Uebergangszeit vom Romanischen zum Gotischen Stil (Berlin, 1902) traces the gradual development of German sculpture with reference to the period of its florescence in the thirteenth century.

His "Die Kirchenthür des Heil. Ambrosius in Mailand" (1902) for the first time showed the door of the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio in Milan to be a monument of early Christian art.

He also contributed a number of important articles on North-German painting, Saxon sculpture, and early medieval miniature manuscripts to the Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft, Zeitschrift für Christliche Kunst, and Jahrbuch der Kgl. Preussischen Kunstsammlungen.

Being of Jewish origin, he had to flee Nazi Germany and died in Basel, Switzerland in 1944, aged 80.


  • Adolph-Goldschmidt-Zentrum zur Erforschung der romanischen Skulptur
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSinger, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Goldschmidt, Adolph". Jewish Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.