Berthold Kress

Associate Fellow

Berthold Kress studied History of Art, Medieval Latin and Palaeography in Munich. For his PhD (Cambridge University) I analysed the manuscripts of the painter and religious dissenter Paul Lautensack (1477/78-1558).

Berthold joined the Warburg Institute in 2011, and most of his work has been connected to the Warburg Institute Iconographic Database. Recently, he developed the following two projects:

Speculum Humanae Salvationis. This Mirror of Human Salvation was the most popular ‘picture-book’ of the late Middle Ages. The database allows for access to nearly 13,000 illustrations of this work from manuscripts and incunabula. It brings together photographs from the Warburg Institute Photographic Collection and images from library digitization projects worldwide (see

Bavarian Church Interiors: Whereas many museums and libraries publish their holdings in digital catalogues, works of art outside such institutions often remain comparatively invisible. Berthold spent much of the last summers photographing the richly decorated and often iconographically unusual interiors of churches in my native Bavaria, and he is adding these pictures (altogether now about 30,000) to the database.

Research interests

Visual Culture of the German Reformation

Diagrams and other graphic devices to convey knowledge

Early modern book illustration (Book on 16th-century New Testament illustration in progress)

Medieval and early modern iconography, relationship between text and image (Book project on the iconography of the Prophet Daniel)

Biblical Typology

Illuminated manuscripts

German Baroque and Rococo art

Digital resources for art historians

Selected Publications


Divine Diagrams: The Drawings of Paul Lautensack (1477/78–1558). Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2014 (Library of the Written Word, 34), 588 pp.

Refereed articles

‘Studies on the Iconography of Universities in the Holy Roman Empire,’ History of Universities 30/1, pp. 75–122 (to be published in July 2018).

 ‘Some Drawings by Paul Lautensack and their Printed Sources,’ Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen 2013 (published 2016), pp. 19–29.

‘Die Drei Jünglinge im Kontext,’ Coincidentia. Zeitschrift für Europäische Geistesgeschichte 6/1 (2015), pp. 109–135.

‘The Bible in a Bedroom – Paul Lautensack’s Paintings for Ursula Gundelfingerin (c. 1538),’ Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 78 (2015), pp. 412–440.

‘Alexander the Great Reads the Book of Daniel,’ Source 33/3–4 (Spring 2014),
pp. 49–56.

‘Rubens’s Descent from the Cross in the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe-Kerk in Antwerp: Some New Observations,’ Source 32/2 (Winter 2013), pp. 35–40.

‘A Relief by Peter Dell (1548) after a Drawing by Paul Lautensack and the Origins of the Term “Gnadenstuhl”,’ Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 73 (2011), pp. 182–194.

‘Early Medieval Sources for Late Gothic Miniatures? The Illuminations on the Book of Daniel in the Duke of Alba’s Bible,’ Codices Manuscripti 64/65 (2008), pp. 13–32.

‘An Illuminated Manuscript of the Concordantiae Caritatis Reconstructed,’ Scriptorium 60/1 (2006), pp. 96–106.

‘MS Marlay 9 in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge,’ Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 13/1 (2004), pp. 44–104.

‘Noah, Daniel and Job – The Three Righteous Men of Ezekiel 14.14 in Medieval Art,’ Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 67 (2004, published 2006), pp. 259–267.

Book chapters

‘The Vaticinia Manuscript British Library, Harley MS 1340 – Transcription and Translation of the Text’ (Part of a forthcoming facsimile commentary with Patrimonio, Valencia).

‘The Block-Book Biblia pauperum as Source for Printed Borders in Germany, France and England,’ Tributes to Jean Michel Massing, edd. Mark Stocker and Philip Lindley, Turnhout 2016, pp. 119–131.

‘Paul Lautensack und die Bilderstürmer – Ein Malerprophet klagt an,’ Die Klage des Künstlers: Krise und Umbruch von der Reformation bis um 1800, ed. Birgit Ulrike Münch, Petersberg 2015, pp. 45–59.

Articles for the Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Berlin: De Gruyter): ‘Daniel – Visual Arts,’ ‘Three Hebrews,’ ‘Four Empires,’ ‘Emmaus,’ ‘Egypt,’ ‘Golden Calf,’ and ‘Hagar.’

‘Lautensack, Paul, I,’ in Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, vol. 83: Lalix–Leibowitz. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014), p. 308.

‘From Elementary School to Divine Revelation: The Alphabets of Paul Lautensack,’ in Teaching Writing, Learning to Write: Proceedings of the XVIth Colloquium of the Comité International de Paléographie Latine held at The Institute of English Studies, University of London, 2–5 September 2008, ed. P. R. Robinson (King’s College London Medieval Studies 22) (London: King’s College, 2010), pp. 313–326.

‘Lautensack, Paulus I,’ Nürnberger Künstlerlexikon, ed. Manfred H. Grieb, vol. 2: H–Pe. (Munich, 2007), p. 896f.