Skip to main content

Bartholdy, Jacob


BARTHOLDY, JACOB (1779–1825), Prussian diplomat and art connoisseur. Born in Berlin into a prosperous Jewish family as Jacob Salomon, he was an uncle of the composer Felix Mendelssohn. He converted in 1805 and adopted the family name Bartholdy from a rented estate near Berlin. He was one of the group of gifted apostate Jews whose services were enlisted by von Hardenberg, the Prussian chancellor. Bartholdy studied law and philosophy, traveled extensively in Western Europe before becoming an officer in the Austrian army in the 1809 war against France. After entering the Prussian diplomatic service, he was appointed Prussian consul-general in Rome and took part in the conference of Aix-la-Chapelle (1818). In the same year he became Prussian chargé d'affaires at the court of Tuscany with the title of privy councillor of legation.

Bartholdy was an enthusiastic art patron and his home was decorated with frescoes by the Nazarenes, a group of contemporary German artists devoted to the revival of Christian art. After his death, the murals were bought by the Prussian government who also acquired his important collection of Etruscan vases, bronze, and ivory.

add bibliography:

C. Lambour, "Quellen zur Biographie von Fanny Hensel, geb. Mendelssohn Bartholdy," in: G. Klein and R. Elvers (eds.), Mendelssohn-Studien, vol. 6. (1986), 49–105.

[Ernest Hamburger]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Bartholdy, Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 20 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Bartholdy, Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (February 20, 2019).

"Bartholdy, Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.