A Guardian Angel Rescuing Emperor Maximilian from the Martinswand, Alfred Rethel
Alfred Rethel
A Guardian Angel Rescuing Emperor Maximilian from the Martinswand
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Alfred Rethel

A Guardian Angel Rescuing Emperor Maximilian from the Martinswand, 1839


Dimensions
74.1 x 52.7 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
1492
Acquisition
Acquired in 1912 as bequest from Luise Koch, née von Saint George
Status
Not on display

Texts

About the Work

The young emperor is in great danger as he gazes into the abyss. According to a popular Tyrolean legend, Maximilian I (1459-1519) supposedly got completely lost in the mountains while out hunting chamois near Innsbruck. On the third day, as if by a miracle, a mysterious man appeared and led the exhausted monarch back into the valley. Contrary to a previous idea of depicting the rescuer as an angel, Rethel shows him here as a shepherd in a sheepskin, albeit illuminated from behind by a supernatural light. This important early work demonstrates clearly the influence of Philipp Veit, Rethel's teacher at the Städel in Frankfurt.

About the Acquisition

Few documents about this donation have been preserved in the Städel archive. The transcript of the will of Anna Louise Friederike Koch, née St George and “widow to the late Banker Mr. Peter Marcus Koch”, relates the following wish: Three paintings and a legacy of 10,000 marks are to be passed on to the Städel Foundation upon the death of their proprietor.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
A Guardian Angel Rescuing Emperor Maximilian from the Martinswand
Painter
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Monogrammiert und datiert unten links: 18 AR 39

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
CC BY-SA 4.0 Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquisition
Acquired in 1912 as bequest from Luise Koch, née von Saint George

Work Content

Iconclass

Primary
Secondary
  • 45C15(CROSSBOW) archer's weapons: crossbow
  • 43C11482 hunting horn
  • 61D(INN) geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (INN) (INN)
  • 25H213 river
  • 22C31 radiance emanating from persons or things

Research and Discussion

Conservation and Restoration

Art-technology findings and/or documentation regarding conservation and restoration are available for this work. If interested, please contact .

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Last update

22.10.2020