(b Hamburg, Feb 14, 1712; d Dresden, Jan 25, 1780).
German diplomat, theorist, collector and etcher. The brother of the poet Friedrich von Hagedorn (1708–54), from 1735 he served in the Saxon diplomatic service. Travelling through Germany and Austria, he met and corresponded with several artists and art theorists, including Johann Joachim Winckelmann, J. G. Sulzer and Salomon Gessner. His collection of paintings and drawings—primarily Dutch and German 17th- and 18th-century work, especially landscapes—became famous, and his advice on art matters was widely appreciated. In 1764 he became director of the Saxon art collections and art schools in Dresden.
Hagedorn’s Lettre à un amateur de la peinture avec des éclairissements historiques … (Dresden, 1755), combining a description of his collection with biographies of 18th-century artists, was, according to its author, a continuation of the Teutsche Academie by Joachim von Sandrart; it remains an important source for art history. The Betrachtungen über die Mahlerey (Leipzig, 1762) and numerous essays that appeared in the ...