Portrait of a Roman Woman on a Flat Roof in Rome, Max Klinger
Max Klinger
Portrait of a Roman Woman on a Flat Roof in Rome
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Max Klinger

Portrait of a Roman Woman on a Flat Roof in Rome, 1891

182 x 182 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1926 as a gift from Walther Rathenau’s mother in memory of her son
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art, room 6


About the Work

"A kind of portrait with the atmosphere of a late evening”, is what the German symbolist Max Klinger called this large-format painting, which was created on his studio roof terrace in Rome. Against the sky’s vastness, the woman in profile appears irritatingly austere. On the one hand, figure and background harmonise well; on the other, the space feels more like an alien backdrop than a real landscape. The painter’s outdoor studies of light and air are symbolic spaces that reflect human states of mind and later resonated with the Surrealists.

About the Acquisition

At the request of Mathilde Rathenau (1845-1926), a native of Frankfurt, a number of paintings were presented to the Städel in 1926 in memory of her son Walther Rathenau (1867-1922). Walther Rathenau, an industrialist and one of the co-founders of the German Democratic Party, was appointed foreign minister in January 1922. In June of that year he was assassinated in Berlin by the Organisation Consul, whose aim was to fight the Weimar Constitution.

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