In 2014, the Kupferstichkabinett of the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe achieved a spectacular reattribution. Thanks to Georg Kabierske, a former intern and now a student of art history, two large-format albums with a total of 297 drawings, previously thought to be the work of the Karlsruhe architect Friedrich Weinbrenner, were attributed to the Italian architect and architectural theorist, etcher, antiquities researcher and dealer Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) and his workshop.
Album double pages
For many centuries, works on paper - drawings and prints - were pasted into bound albums and archived that way. This order was to be maintained in the transfer of Piranesi's albums into the digital space.
The home page opens with a video showcasing the albums and the specific page-turning technique. The minimalist menu allows the user to navigate to the page view of the respective album with brief explanatory descriptions. An important tool is the quick view tool on the right. It provides an overview of the entire album and allows the user to switch quickly and easily to the desired page. From the individual page, the user is taken one level deeper to the individual works by mouse click. The challenge was to present the extensive scientific content and at the same time an accessible "light" version of the work details for the interested user without a scientific background on one and the same page.
Artwork view with hotspots
Visitors to the site can view the individual works, read brief descriptive texts and technical data about the work, while art historians and other scholars can access all content in an extensive glossary in the form of an accordion list including specific links to the project. Tools developed in-house are also available to delve deeper into the works, both visually and in terms of content: The scale tool, a standardized reference color palette, and the hotspot tool, which provides additional textual and visual information at specific points in the work and is equally interesting for both main target groups.
Search for works with scientific filters
One highlight is the high-performance search function, which was realized with Elasticsearch and allows complex scientific search queries with the inclusion of powerful, multidimensional filters. In order to find all possible different spellings of entities, i.e. persons, corporations, conferences, geographies, subject terms and works, the application was implemented with the GND (Gemeinsame Normdatei der deutschen Nationalbibliothek).