From the 1830s onwards, Franz Xaver Winterhalter was one of the most famous and most sought-after portraitists of the European aristocracy. His romantically idealising portraits render the models in a flattering, almost diffused manner. This also applies to the portrait of the 23-year-old Olga von Grunelius, née Baroness von Bethmann (1849–1925). Her husband, the Frankfurt banker Moritz Eduard Grunelius, commissioned it in 1872 and it shows the young woman, in keeping with the contemporary fashion, in a lace-trimmed blue evening gown and with a delicate tulle veil around her shoulders. The masterful depiction of luxurious materials and fabrics is considered one of the the characteristics of the portraits by the so-called "princely painter". The artist died of typhoid fever in 1873 during a stay in Frankfurt am Main. His grave is located at Frankfurt's main cemetery.
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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