Between 1931 and 1935, Nolde carried out a series of watercolours he called "Fantasies". This workgroup contains numerous double portraits in the form of encounters between a woman and a man, as in the watercolour Couple. The artist composed the depiction from countless dabs and bands of colour intersecting and overlapping so densely as to develop an intense sense of depth. He also allowed chance to intervene in the painting process, for example by integrating the unintended splotches made by his paint-soaked brush at the upper right.
The important collection of Expressionist art owned by the chemist Carl Hagemann (1867-1940) was formed from the beginning of the twentieth century in close exchange with the artists - even during the period when they were being vilified by the National Socialists. After Hagemann's death in 1940, his collection was secretly evacuated together with the Städel's own collection to protect it from war damage. In gratitude for this hazardous but successful effort, Hagemann's heirs donated over 1000 prints and drawings to the Städel in 1948. Further generous donations were made over the course of several decades.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the museum at .