The richly ornamented facade of the Venetian palazzo glowing in warm gold makes the severe profile appear cool and aloof. The portrait is of Anna Cossmann, the thirty-two-year-old daughter of the Weimar cellist Bernhard Cossmann. It is structured in the style of a Renaissance likeness. The painter was a pupil of Hans von Marées, one of the Germans in Rome, who was strongly influenced by Italian art. The contrast and the overlap of the daughter’s sharp contours with the planar and detailed facade emphasise the pride and confidence exuded by the portrayed person.
The journalist, publisher, politician and patron of the arts Leopold Sonnemann (1831–1909) was one of the founding members of the Städelscher Museums-Verein in 1899. This association created the first means by which the citizens of Frankfurt could support the museum collectively. To this day, the Museums-Verein is one of the collection’s mainstays. Sonnemann, publisher of the leading liberal newspaper ‘Frankfurter Zeitung’, donated this portrait to the association two years after its founding.
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