The girl stares unblinkingly past the viewer. There is no sparkle in her eyes, no smile on her lips as her sideways glance withdraws from the intimacy of the image detail. The child's unapproachability is reflected in the simplified forms: her face is positioned like a circle frontally in the rectangular frame. The closed, geometric structure of the picture lacks any narrative element, and so the girl remains caught in her earnest silence. Instead of an idealised portrait of a child, Modersohn-Becker, whose formal reduction was strongly influenced by Cézanne and Gauguin, shows an enigmatic individual.
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.
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