Zu dem Gemälde existiert eine Kaltnadelradierung, die im darauffolgenden Jahr bei Paul Cassirer in Berlin erschien.
Beckmann created a series of city views during his time in Frankfurt. This one takes as its subject the characteristic panorama of the River Main. On a quiet winter's morning, with the crescent moon still visible in the sky, we gaze upriver from the Untermain Bridge towards the old city with the Cathedral of St Bartholomew, the Eiserner Steg and, on the right, the river bank on the Sachsenhausen side. The view lacks topographical precision: what Beckmann paints is the historical form of the tower as it appeared before the major fire at the cathedral in 1867. He focuses all his attention on the river, which lies between the two banks like a dark band. Drifting on the water are huge floes of ice.
The painting was first owned by the Jewish textile entrepreneur Fritz Neuberger (1877–1943), who acquired it directly from Max Beckmann in the 1920s. Neuberger and his wife Hedwig (1895–1943) were Jewish and persecuted during the Nazi era. They were deported and murdered in the Majdanek death camp in 1943. Their only son was able to flee via the Netherlands to Great Britain in May 1939 and then to the United States. Unaware of the fate of its Jewish first owner, the Städelscher Museums-Verein acquired the painting from a private collection in 1994. Funds were provided by the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the Marga and Kurt Möllgaard Foundation and many further private donors. After conducting extensive research into the history of the painting, the Museums-Verein reached a good-will agreement with the heirs of the Neuberger family in 2017 allowing for the work to remain in Frankfurt. Städelscher Museums-Verein has received major financial support from the Federal Republic of Germany.
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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