Sabina, Rekonstruktion einer Recherche (Reconstructing a Research)

16,4 × 23,5 cm, 416 pages,
194 Color- and s/w-photographs,
text (german)
44,00 €
Design: arc, Timo Grimberg
Textem Verlag, Hamburg, 2023
ISBN: 978–3–86485–290–9

A special limited photographic edition is available to the book.

If you are interested in the book or the special edition, please contact me.


„Sabina“ ist ein wundersames Buch. Kein Roman, kein Sachbuch, keine kunsthistorische Abhandlung und auch kein Bildband, dafür ein Hybrid aus all dem zusammen. In feinsinnig ironischem Ton geschrieben, vereint es Fotografien, historische Dokumente, Romanauszüge, Gemälde und Originaltexte zu einer raffinierten Geschichte, gerahmt durch den fiktiven Austausch zwischen einer Herausgeberin und einer geheimnisvollen Figur namens „W.“, eine Art Alter Ego und romantischer Verdoppelung der Künstlerin Wiebke Elzel.
Sandra Kegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 26.7.2023

Link to the complete FAZ review


Who was Sabina von Steinbach? If one follows her portrayal on the figure frieze in the staircase of the Old National Gallery in Berlin, she was an important medieval sculptress. However, she probably never existed. Why was she nevertheless, as the only female artist, included in that central frieze of famous personalities at the end of the 19th century? Starting from this question, extensive research began in libraries, archives, museums, churches and other places in Germany and France. Contradictory statements and strange theories from more than four centuries were gathered. The book retraces this search, including misdirections and detours. The idiosyncratic narrative structure challenges reading habits and combines different disciplines: it is visual art, it is a literary narrative, it is serious investigation and undisciplined research. The result is a feminist manifesto for the 21st century that analyses different perspectives with a decidedly subjective approach.
Cover, back
Cover, back