Johann David Passavant (1787−1861) was an unusual person. First trained as a merchant in his parents' business in Frankfurt, from 1817 on he developed into a Nazarene painter and finally became a co-founder of a scientifically oriented art history. His work on Rafael von Urbino and his father Giovanni Santi, published in 1839, is considered one of the cornerstones of art research. The author had dedicated it to the "highly commendable administration" of the Städel, which had supported the research enterprise as well as the printing. He had been closely associated with the institute for a long time and had been advising it on art purchases since 1817. In 1840, Passavant took up the post of gallery inspector at the Städel art institute. The artist and art scientist also set up a small private collection himself, which he bequeathed to the Städel in his legacy dated 1861.
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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