Christian Wilhelm Büttner, who was appointed to work in Göttingen as a professor for natural science in 1763, was not only a versatile scholar but also a passionate collector.
In 1773 he bequeathed the University around 12,000 objects from his natural history collection in exchange for a life annuity. The objects were collectibles gathered from almost all areas of nature and culture. The objects depicted in the portrait not only show the breadth of his collection but also hint at his scientific work methods and include hidden biographical clues. Büttner’s portrait is a scholarly picture puzzle that engages the viewer in a game of double meanings, ambiguous references and subtle connections.

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