August Macke had his wife Elisabeth sit as a model for many of his numerous nudes – abstracting and standardising her facial features and body shapes. The painterly simplification goes back to his encounter with Henri Matisse’s works, which were, the year this painting was done, exhibited in the Cassirer art gallery in Berlin. Macke himself emphasised the model’s naturalness and purity in his nudes. Here the headscarf, the bowed head and the chaste posture of the arm are reminiscent of depictions of the Madonna. This type of sacralisation was typical of Macke’s nudes around 1910/11; it represents a counterpoint to the offensively erotic nudes of the Brücke artists.
The Frankfurt businessman Dr. Kurt Möllgaard and his wife, Marga, began collecting modern art in 1945. From 1964 on they donated parts of their collection to the Städelscher Museums-Verein. Kurt Möllgaard commented on his activities: "In doing this, we have intentionally continued a tradition which is also cultivated to a considerable extent by those citizens of Frankfurt who had to leave their homes after 1933." In 1987 Kurt Möllgaard founded the Kurt und Marga Möllgaard-Stiftung, which remains active to this day.
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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