Protect or let go? The mother's gestures are ambiguous: she holds her daughter firmly with one hand but pushes her away with the other. Parental experience speaks through her sad gaze, while the child looks at the world with its big, innocent eyes. In contrast to the simplified form of the bodies and the coarsely hewn surface of the figures, Kirchner devotes himself here with bizarre precision of detail to the sexuality of the girl: her vagina is painted red. Inspired by art from outside Europe, this wood sculpture is one of a series of representations of couples created during the mid-1920s.
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 removed into storage to escape the war, together with the Städel's own collection. In gratitude for this hazardous but successful effort, Hagemann's heirs presented 935 works on paper to the Städel during the 1940s. 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.
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Art-technology findings and/or documentation regarding conservation and restoration are available for this work. If interested, please contact .