CEEH Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica

Die Reise Ottheinrichs von der Pfalz durch Spanien und Portugal 1519/20


Karin Hellwig


176 pages; 18 black and white illustrations; hardcover


German; published by Manutius Verlag Heidelberg with the collaboration of the CEEH; 2010





In the winter of 1519–20 the young Ottheinrich von der Pfalz, one of the most important art collectors and bibliophiles of the Renaissance, embarked on a three-month journey around Spain and Portugal, accompanied by Johann Maria Warschitz as his secretary. Warschitz had a good knowledge of the languages and the countries they were going to visit and was entrusted with writing the travel diary. This diary, regarded as the most complete of the very rare examples of this genre from the period and the best preserved in its original version, makes Otthenrich’s the best documented journey of his day.

In it Warschitz provides information about the itineraries, stages and distances, as well as many observations on the towns and cities and their inhabitants, and the landscapes and roads. He tells of encounters and experiences, and praises the quality of the wines and the beauty of the ‘charming’ Spanish women. Hellwig begins by analysing Otteinrich’s journey and the documentation provided by Warshitz’s diary, taking as a basis a series of issues related to the experience of travel on the Iberian Peninsula in the Early Modern Age. His study is complete with a critical edition of this valuable text, which had only been circulated in manuscript version. The synoptic transcription of the original texts is in modern German.

Karin Hellwig is an art historian who has collaborated as a researcher at the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich since 1983. Her studies are centered on art theory of the early Modern Age in Spain and Italy (Die spanische Kunstliteratur im. 17. Jahrhundert, 1996) and on Spanish painting of the seventeenth century (several essays on Velázquez, Murillo, and other Golden Age painters), as well as on art historiography of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Von der Vita zur Künstlerbiographie, 2005).