This painting divided the contemporaries: the verdicts ranged from “crown of all paintings” to “sound recommendation for moths and bugs”. It shows the preacher Jan Hus defending his teachings at the Council of Constance in 1415. This glorification of religious opposition exceeded the tolerance of the first Städel director, Philipp Veit. Enraged by the acquisition of the painting, he resigned. Lessing’s painting provoked strong reactions during the politically volatile era of 1815 to 1848. A great number of people felt the work foreboded the revolutionary events of 1848.