Here, Ottilie W. Roederstein shows her friend and later life partner Elisabeth H. Winterhalter sitting at her desk. The quill in hand, the open book, a skull and a glass vial as well as other books on the shelf identify Winterhalter as a natural scientist and physician. She had studied medicine in liberal Switzerland, resp. Zurich, since 1885. Roederstein deliberately chose to depict her in striking similarity of the composition to Renaissance scholar portraits, for example to Hans Holbein the Younger’s portrait of Erasmus of Rotterdam. Thus, differing largely from the type of elegant and pompously decorated lady portraits customary in the 19th century. It confidently expresses the claim to education and equality in a male-dominated society, as women were still denied access to universities until the turn of the century in large parts of Europe.
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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