The Mineralogical Record
The Mineralogical Record - Join us on Facebook!  The Mineralogical Record - Sign up for our newsletter

Xavier von Wulfen
(1728-1805)

Baron Franz Xavier von Wulfen was born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1728. He was the son of Christian Friedrich von Wulfen, a lieutenant field marshal in the Austrian Army, which high post provided the family with a comfortable life within the establishment of the Austrian Empire. Wulfen's early education took place at the Kaschau Gymnasium in present-day Košice, Slovakia. At the age of 17 he elected to join the Jesuit Order in Vienna, wherein he became known for both his diligence and his talents in mathematics and philosophy. Following his graduation from the Jesuit school in 1755 he first became an instructor in the Gymnasium at Gorizia, Italy, then was assigned to the more prestigious Theresian Ritterakademie in Vienna. In 1763 he was officially ordained as a priest, and in 1769 was assigned to Klagenfurt, Austria where he spent the remainder of his life.

The dramatic beauty of the mountains surrounding Klagenfurt lured Wulfen into taking frequent hikes for nature study. He built a comprehensive reference collection of natural objects found around Klagenfurt, including a modest collection of minerals which is thought to be preserved today (though dispersed throughout the larger collection) in the Joanneum in Graz, Austria. His observations were published in a series of well-illustrated works on the insects, plants and minerals of the area. His first illustrated work on minerals was his Minera plumbi spatosa Carinthiaca, ("Carinthian lead-spar minerals")(1781, continued in 1786). The illustrations are by Jakob Adam, based on drawings prepared by Wulfen himself. He also published a separate book on the subject in 1785: Abhandlung vom kärnthnerischen Bleyspathe, which today is considered to be one of the 18th century's finest examples of hand-colored mineral illustration. The 46 specimens depicted (including the 16 reproduced here, from a very rare copy in the Mineralogical Record Library) were all engraved by A. Anon from original paintings by the noted German painter and copperplate engraver Joseph Melling (1724-1764). Most of the illustrations depict specimens of wulfenite from the Bleiberg lead mines.



References:
Schuh, C. P. (1997) Biographical notes [on Franz von Wulfen], in W. E. Wilson (ed.). Xavier Wulfen's Treatise on Carinthian Lead Spars, Mineralogical Record, Tucson.
Auer, C. (1998) Famous mineral localities: The Annaberg District, Lower Austria. Mineralogical Record, 29,177-189.

Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of artworks found: 16 | Artworks being viewed: 9 to 16

The Mineralogical Record: Xavier von Wulfen - Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving, 2 x 3 inches (1785), depicted natural size, engraved by A. Anon from a painting by Joseph Melling (1724-1764), probably based on a specimen owned by Franz von Wulfen, collected at the Sankt Paulus Stollen [tunnel] near Bleiberg, Austria.
The Mineralogical Record: Xavier von Wulfen - Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving, 5.5 x 6.5 inches (1785), depicted natural size, engraved by A. Anon from a painting by Joseph Melling (1724-1764), probably based on a specimen owned by Franz von Wulfen, collected at the Sankt Paulus Stollen [tunnel] near Bleiberg, Austria.
The Mineralogical Record: Xavier von Wulfen - Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthis, Austria Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthis, Austria
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving, 3.5 x 5 inches (1785), depicted natural size, engraved by A. Anon from a painting by Joseph Melling (1724-1764), probably based on a specimen owned by Franz von Wulfen, collected at the Sankt Matthäus mine near Bleiberg, Austria.
The Mineralogical Record: Xavier von Wulfen - Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carintha, Austria Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carintha, Austria
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving, 2.5 x 3.5 inches (1785), depicted natural size, engraved by A. Anon from a painting by Joseph Melling (1724-1764), probably based on a specimen owned by Franz von Wulfen, collected at the Sankt Matthäus mine near Bleiberg, Austria.
The Mineralogical Record: Xavier von Wulfen - Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving, 2.5 x 5.5 inches (1785), depicted natural size, engraved by A. Anon from a painting by Joseph Melling (1724-1764), probably based on a specimen owned by Franz von Wulfen, collected at the Sankt Matthäus mine near Bleiberg, Austria.
The Mineralogical Record: Xavier von Wulfen - Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving, 2.5 x 4 inches (1785), depicted natural size, engraved by A. Anon from a painting by Joseph Melling (1724-1764), probably based on a specimen owned by Franz von Wulfen, collected at the Sankt Matthäus mine near Bleiberg, Austria.
The Mineralogical Record: Xavier von Wulfen - Wulfenite, Bliberg District, Carinthia, Austria Wulfenite, Bliberg District, Carinthia, Austria
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving, 3 x 4.5 inches (1785), depicted natural size, engraved by A. Anon from a painting by Joseph Melling (1724-1764), probably based on a specimen owned by Franz von Wulfen, collected at the Sankt Matthäus mine near Bleiberg, Austria.
The Mineralogical Record: Xavier von Wulfen - Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria Wulfenite, Bleiberg District, Carinthia, Austria
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving, 2.5 x 3.5 inches (1785), depicted natural size, engraved by A. Anon from a painting by Joseph Melling (1724-1764), probably based on a specimen owned by Franz von Wulfen, collected at the Sankt Matthäus mine near Bleiberg, Austria.
PAGE   1   2  << PREV
The Mineralogical Record Museum of Art is is supported entirely by donations from
Kathryn and Bryan Lees, Rob Lavinsky, Wendell Wilson and Susan Robinson.

Contents copyright © 2017 The Mineralogical Record, Inc. All rights reserved.
 
Graphic design of this website by Wendell E. Wilson. Website programming by ASPConnections.net