The quality of the collection of Baroque oil sketches from southern Germany compiled by the Munich bankier Wilhelm Reuschel (1893–1979) is quite rare. Permanently located at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum since 1959, it provides thrilling insights into the preparatory works for altarpieces and easel paintings, small prints and large-scale frescoes. By juxtaposing completed works with their small-scale precursors, the catalogue grants insight into the artistic design process and how artists wrestle to establish their imagery. This publication outlines the path from an artist’s growing reliance on an oil sketch to an autonomous work of art.
Among the creators of these spontaneous, and frequently quite bold, works of art are well-known artist personalities, such as Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner, Martin Knoller, Franz Anton Maulbertsch, Franz Joseph Spiegler, Thomas Wink and Januarius Zick.