Around 1758 Johann Maximilian von Holzhausen commissioned the artist Johann Georg Ziesenis, one of the most sought-after portraitists of aristocratic society, to paint likenesses of his children. With regard to her clothing, jewellery, hair dyed grey and erect posture, the portrait of his twelve-year-old daughter Marie Sophie von Holzhausen corresponds to the portrait of an adult noblewoman. She is sitting in an armchair in a magnificent blue dress with a corsage and white lace trimming on the sleeves and neckline, while her dog performs a trick. Although she looks grown up and stiff, childlike features are evident in her delicately modelled face.
For almost 700 years, from 1245 until 1923, the Holzhausens were one of Frankfurt's most important patrician families and prominent members of the Imperial City's town council. More than thirty members of the family served as mayor on some seventy occasions. Until about 1500 the family were merchants on a large scale, but then concentrated on administering their country property and feudal lands. The death of Adolph Freiherr von Holzhausen (1866-1923) marked the end of the older branch of the family on the male side. He bequeathed to the Städel the ancestral portrait gallery of Frankfurt's Holzhausen family, which dated back to the time of the Renaissance. The portrait collection exhibits the particular charm of an ancestral gallery that has been maintained over many generations.