Portrait of Helene Roederstein
(The Painter’s Sister), Ottilie W. Roederstein
Ottilie W. Roederstein
Portrait of Helene Roederstein (The Painter’s Sister)
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Ottilie W. Roederstein

Portrait of Helene Roederstein (The Painter’s Sister), 1890

103.4 x 65.4 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1952 as a bequest from Elisabeth H. Winterhalter
Not on display


About the Work

Ottilie W. Roederstein’s younger sister Helene repeatedly sat for the painter, especially in the early parts of her career. This painting was created as a classic half-length portrait. However, the canvas was subsequently reduced in size so that the signature and date in the upper right corner are barely visible. The portrait is an outstanding example of Roederstein’s talent. Through the background’s simplicity and the dress’s looser depiction, the artist draws attention to the model’s detailed face as well as its gentle, dreamy expression. Roederstein limited the colouring to a few tones. Light green in all its nuances dominates the composition, while, for example, the white lace collar acts as an accentuation. By superimposing glazing and opaque layers of colour, she virtuously imitates the fabric’s transparency. The violet and pink blossoms that adorn the collar are only hinted at by Roederstein in a few sketchy brushstrokes. Stylistically, the painting belongs to Roederstein’s early work. In addition to French salon painting, the influence of her Parisian teachers Jean-Jacques Henner and Carolus Duran is particularly noticeable.

Work Data

Basic Information

Portrait of Helene Roederstein (The Painter’s Sister)
Production Place
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Durch die Beschneidung der Leinwand sind Signatur und Datierung rechts oben größtenteils verloren
Work Catalogues
  • Rök 1999, WVZ Nr. 132
  • Jughenn, WVZ Nr. 1890-5

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

Main Motif
Persons Shown


  • 61BB2(ROEDERSTEIN, Helene)11(+54) historical person (ROEDERSTEIN, Helene) - BB - woman - historical person (ROEDERSTEIN, Helene) portrayed alone (+ three-quarter length portrait)
  • 31D15 adult woman

Research and Discussion


Object History
Nachlass Ottilie W. Roederstein (1859-1937), Hofheim, 1937
Elisabeth H. Winterhalter (1856-1952), Hofheim
Depositum im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1944
Vermächtnis Elisabeth Winterhalters an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1952.


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