This catalogue deals with all German and Austrian pictures in the National Gallery, and also with any pictures in the Collection which may be claimed as Swiss. Pictures by artists of these nationalities who worked largely abroad (e.g. Elsheimer) are included.
At the end of the catalogue is a list of the pictures included here as well as a list of attributions changed from the 1929 catalogue and 1939 supplement. In Appendix II is printed the relevant part of the Christie sale catalogue of 1857 showing those German pictures which once belonged to the Gallery.
My first and most considerable debt of gratitude is to my colleagues Mr. Martin Davies and Mr. Neil MacLaren. For a number of pictures catalogued here they had, over a period of years, drafted entries which they generously placed at my disposal. I hope I have benefited from their scholarship. In most cases what is printed here is longer than those draft entries; and for the opinions expressed here I alone am responsible. I owe a further debt of gratitude to Mr. Davies for so kindly consenting to the transfer to this catalogue of his entries for the two pictures by Holbein, published in the British School catalogue of 1946. For the purposes of the present catalogue they have been slightly redrafted, but the scholarship of them remains his.
I owe many other debts of gratitude and I hope specific instances are acknowledged in their place. Messrs. Christie, Manson and Woods have once again been unfailingly helpful over sales. At the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorische Documentatie, Dr. H. Gerson has not only kindly helped me over sales but also over books not obtainable in England. At the Witt Library of the Courtauld Institute, Dr. P. Murray has helped me in many ways. I am particularly grateful for the kindness and help given me by Dr. Paul Pieper at Münster, and at Nuremberg by Dr. Peter Strieder. For encouragement, and for opportunities to discuss some of the pictures catalogued here, I am also indebted to Mr. J. Byam Shaw, Professor L. D. Ettlinger, and Mr. Christopher White.
At the Gallery, I owe a debt of gratitude to Miss Joyce Plesters, Experimental Officer, who has taken many paint sections and wood samples for me; to the Chief Restorer, Mr. A. W. Lucas, and the staff of the Restoration Department for much helpful advice; and to Mrs. V. Wilson and the Photographic Staff whose work has so often made mine much easier. Many of the pictures catalogued here raise, in one way or another, technical problems. I am gratefully aware of the contribution . . .