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.
This painting was purchased in 1994 for the Museums-Verein with funds from the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the Marga und Kurt Möllgaard-Stiftung founded in 1987, and a large number of private donors. Beckmann’s famous Frankfurt motif was exhibited in 1924 at the Frankfurter Kunstverein. At the time, the journalist Benno Reifenberg wrote: “The ice floes glide down the dark river. Like strange broad-backed, sharp-snouted fish. They gush forth from the curve in the Main. Silently they pass the town, a mighty thrust from afar.”
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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