Skizzenbuch, Friedrich Metz
Friedrich Metz
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Friedrich Metz

Skizzenbuch, March 1876 – April 1876

Buchblock mit Einband
160 x 105 x 6 mm
Buchblock ohne Einband
160 x 104 x 5 mm
Physical Description
Pencil on wove paper, in half cloth book covers, boards covered with agate-marbled paper, front cover with blank label
Inventory Number
SG 2764
Object Number
SG 2764 Z
Acquired in 1942
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

The sketchbook, drawn in with pencil, documents the “journey to the Orient” of the 56-year-old Friedrich Metz, which took him from Egypt to what is now Israel, Syria and Lebanon in March and April 1876. On the same journey, Metz used another sketchbook (Inv. SG 2765) preserved in the Städel Museum, whereby he recorded similar, sometimes identical motifs here and there at the same places, sometimes even days, without any recognisable division of content. He thus drew in the randomly selected book and – as the changing dates reveal – on randomly opened pages.

From the drawings as well as the places and dates of creation regularly noted in both books, it can be reconstructed that Metz was in Cairo in mid-March 1876. He left Egypt a few days later via the port city of Port Said and reached Jaffa, that is now a part of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, by sea. Afterwards, he stayed in Ramla, Jerusalem and Jericho, in the Kidron valley, the Judean desert and at the Dead Sea, then travelled across the Jordan plain, Nablus and Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee, later to Hermon. Finally, in April, Metz drew in Damascus, then visited Baalbek, the Lebanon Mountains and Beirut. In May 1876, he interrupted his homeward journey, which he probably started from Beirut, for a stay of several weeks in Italy (see Inv. SG 2824, Städel Museum).

In both books, the drawings are almost without exception in landscape format, for which Metz usually turned the portrait-format books by 90 degrees to the right. They mainly show depictions of the visited cities, especially Jerusalem, captured from a distance, as well as wide views of river, mountain and coastal landscapes, more rarely streets or buildings, people going about their daily lives or the local flora. Metz gave a rough outline of what he saw ‒ sometimes more detailed but always with brisk strokes ‒, thus documenting the places he visited, especially the biblical ones in the Holy Land, in drawn “travel snapshots”.

For a full sketchbook description, please see “Research”.

Work Data

Basic Information

Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Pencil on wove paper, in half cloth book covers, boards covered with agate-marbled paper, front cover with blank label
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert und datiert auf dem vorderen fliegenden Vorsatz (mit Bleistift): Friedrich Metz / gez auf s Orient / reise / im Frühjahr 76; verschiedene Notizen und Bezeichnungen des Künstlers im Buch
Captions Added Later
Auf dem vorderen Spiegel mittig Stempel der Städtischen Galerie, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2371c), mit zugehöriger Inventarnummer
  • Nicht vorhanden

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1942

Research and Discussion


Description / Content
Download PDF

Conservation and Restoration

Art-technology findings and/or documentation regarding conservation and restoration are available for this work. If interested, please contact .

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