Portrait of Dr. Elisabeth Winterhalter, Ottilie W. Roederstein
Ottilie W. Roederstein
Portrait of Dr. Elisabeth Winterhalter
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Ottilie W. Roederstein

Portrait of Dr. Elisabeth Winterhalter, 1887 – 1888

102.1 x 82 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1952 as a bequest from Elisabeth H. Winterhalter
Not on display


About the Work

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.

Work Data

Basic Information

Portrait of Dr. Elisabeth Winterhalter
Production Place
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signed and dated bottom left: O. W. Roederstein
Work Catalogues
  • Rök 1999, WVZ Nr. 105
  • Jughenn, WVZ Nr. 1888-12

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1952 as a bequest from Elisabeth H. Winterhalter

Work Content

Motifs and References


  • 61BB2(WINTERHALTER, Elisabeth H.)11(+53) historical person (WINTERHALTER, Elisabeth H.) - BB - woman - historical person (WINTERHALTER, Elisabeth H.) portrayed alone (+ half-length portrait)
  • 31D15 adult woman
  • 31AA235 sitting figure - AA - female human figure
  • 41AA1 civic architecture; edifices; dwellings - AA - civic architecture: inside

Research and Discussion


Object History
Nachlass Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859-1937), Hofheim, 1937
Elisabeth H. Winterhalter (1856-1952), Hofheim
Vermächtnis an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1952.


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”.

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