Werner Cohn




art historian. bookseller.

Country of origin



Born on October 5, 1905 in Berlin. Cohn studied in Berlin between 1923-26 under Adolph Goldschmid and in Freiburg 1926-29 under Hans Jantzen, where he wrote his dissertation in 1929. His topic was Hans Hohlbein the Younger. Younger ones. Between 1931 and 1933, Cohn worked as a volunteer in the departments for prints and drawings of the State Museums in Berlin. When the Nazis came to power, Cohn, a Protestant of Jewish descent, was released from his position. He had to leave Berlin in 1936. He worked for the Heitz publishing house in Strasbourg. He participated in the series of books on prints (single sheet prints) until 1935. For this purpose, he searched for libraries in museums, antiquarian bookshops and also churches worldwide. He had been living in Florence since 1935. There he was hired by New York University professor Richard Offner as an assistant. Together with Klara Steinweg, they worked on the corpus of Florentine painting, a critical and historical work on painting. When World War II broke out in Europe, Cohn and Offner traveled to the United States. Steinweg returned to Germany. Cohn spent the war years in Assisi and collected material about the influence of the "commune" on the cultural life in the 13th century. After the war, Cohn returned to Florence, where he worked as a translator in the Uffizi archives. He also tried to stay afloat in the 1940s-50s as a book purchaser of art books. He worked on a documentary volume of Florentine Painting, which was supported by a research grant from Germany (German Research Foundation). Unfortunately, this work remained incomplete because he died in Florence at the age of 55 on September 2, 1960. His obituary was written by U. Middeldorf, which appeared in the reports of the KHI.

historian's relations

Assisi Florence New York University Humboldt University of Berlin University of Freiburg University of Strasbourg Hans Jantzen Uffizi

Main works

Cohn, W. (1968). Galleria Palatina (die Pitti-Galerie) : Führer für den Besucher und Katalog der ausgestellten Werke, hrsg. von Anna Maria Francini Ciaranfi (Übersetzt von Werner Cohn), Firenze

Cohn, W. (1959). Contributo a Pietro Lorenzetti, in Rivista d'arte 34.1959 (1961), p. 3-17

Cohn, W. (1960). Maestri sconosciuti del Quattrocento Fiorentino, 1960, in Bollettino d'arte. Firenze, 1960, 4. Ser. 45.1960, p. 180-185

Cohn, W. (1960). Ein neues Museum in San Giovanni Valdarno, in Weltkunst. 30.1960, 5, p. 9

Cohn, W. (1960). Florentiner Kunstberich, in Weltkunst, 30.1960, 2, p. 5-6

Bovini, G. (1959). Ravenna : seine Mosaiken und Monumente (Übersetzt von Werner Cohn). Firenze

Cohn, W. (1959). Florenz zur Zeit Dantes, in Weltkunst, 29.1959, 14, p. 5-6

Cohn, W. (1959). Maestri sconosciuti del Quattrocento fiorentino, in Bollettino d'arte, 4. Ser. 44.1959, p. 61-68

Cohn, W. (1959). Un codice inedito con disegni di Marco di Bartolommeo Rustichi, in: Rivista d'arte, 32.1957 (1959), p. 57-76

Cohn, W. (1959). Ein Geschenk Bernard Berensons an die Florentiner Uffizien, in Weltkunst, 29.1959, p. 5

Cohn, W. (1959). Zur Ikonographie der Glasfenster von Orsanmichele, mit Zsfassung in ital. Sprache, in Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz. 9.1959/60, 1, p. 1-12

Cohn, W. (1959). Das neue "Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce" in Weltkunst, 29.1959, 10, p. 26

Cohn, W. (1959). Die dritte Florentiner Fresken-Schau im Forte Belvedere, in Weltkunst. 29.1959, 15, p. 7: Cohn, W. (1959). Eine unbekannte oberrheinische Miniatur des "Weichen Stils", in Festschrift Friedrich Winkler, Berlin 1959, p. 95-99

Cohn, W. (1958). Notizie storiche intorno ad alcune tavole fiorentine del '300 e '400, in Rivista d'arte, 31.1956(1958), p. 41-72

Cohn, W. (1958). Maestri sconosciuti del Quattrocento fiorentino, in Bollettino d'arte, 4.Ser. 43.1958,p. 64-66

Cohn, W. (1958). Franco Sacchetti und das ikonographische Programm der Gewölbemalereien von Orsanmichele, in Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 8.1957/59(1958), 2, p. 65-77

Cohn, W. (1958). Neue Beiträge zu Antonio Veneziano, Berliner Museen. 7.1957/58([1958?]), p. 52-53

Cohn, W. (1958). Venezianische Zeichnungen aus polnischem Besitz in den Uffizien, in Weltkunst, 28.1958, 24, p. 9

Cohn, W. (1988). Albrecht Dürer : 1471 - 1528, Milano, 1958

Cohn, W. (1957). La seconda immagine della Loggia di Orsanmichele, Roma 1957, p. 335-338], Sonderdruck aus : Bollettino d'arte. Firenze. 4.Ser. 42.1957, [335-338] 7, p. 176-178

Cohn, W. (1957). Florentiner Fresken aus vier Jahrhunderten, Weltkunst, 27.1957, p. 15

Cohn, W. (1956). Rückblick auf das Fra-Angelico-Jahr, Weltkunst, 26.1956, 7, p. 9

Cohn, W. (1956). Italienische Clairobscur-Holzschnitte in den Uffizien, in Weltkunst, 26.1956, 9, 8

Cohn, W. (1956). Nuovi documenti per il B. Angelico, Sonderabdruck aus: Memorie domenicane, fasc. 4 (1956)

Cohn, W. (1955). Il Beato Angelico e Battista di Biagio Sanguigni, Firenze 1956. Sonderabdruck aus: Rivista d'arte, vol. 30 (1955)

Cohn, W. (1952). Nanni di Banco, in Weltkunst, 22.1952, 2, p. 2

Cohn, W. (1939). Two glass panels after designs by Hans Holbein / Werner Cohn in The Burlington magazine for connoisseurs, 75.1939, p. 115-121

Cohn, W. (1937). A glass painting by the Master E. S., in The Burlington magazine for connoisseurs, 70.1937, p. 71-77

Cohn, W. (1934/35). Holz- und Metallschnitte aus öffentlichen Sammlungen und Bibliotheken in Aachen, Bamberg, Berlin, Breslau, Darmstadt, Dresden, Göttingen, Gotha, mit begleitendem Text von Werner Cohn, Strassburg 1934/35 (Einblattdrucke des fünfzehnten Jahrhunderts 85, 86, 87)

Cohn, W. (1934). Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des deutschen Einblattholzschnitts im 2. Drittel des 15. Jahrhunderts, Strassburg, 1934, Studien zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte, 302

Cohn, W. (1933). Christoph Amberger (c. 1500 - 1561), The Virgin enthroned with St. Christopher and Donors, Frankfurt, Staedel Institute (Inv. No. 13616), in Old master drawings, 7.1932/33([1933?]), 45

Cohn, W. (1930). Der Wandel der Architekturgestaltung in den Werken Hans Holbeins d.J.: ein Beitrag zur Holbein-Chronologie, Strassburg 1930. - VII, 107, Studien zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte, 278

About the scholar

Middeldorf, U. (1960). In memoriam Werner Cohn. Florenz: Kunsthistorisches Institut. Sonderdruck aus : Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz. Firenze. 9.1959/60, 3/4, 265-266


Nachlass Werner Cohn