Portrait of the Actress Fanny Janauschek, Arnold Böcklin
Arnold Böcklin
Portrait of the Actress Fanny Janauschek
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Preliminary drawing

Böcklin, Arnold: Bildnis Fanny Janauschek, schwarze Kreide auf blauem Papier, um 1861, Inv.-Nr. HZ 3350, Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt

Arnold Böcklin

Portrait of the Actress Fanny Janauschek, 1861

180.0 x 104.3 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1934, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art, room 5


About the Work

Loved and adored – Fanny Janauschek was a star of the stage. Böcklin met the Frankfurter actress in 1861, during a guest-performance in Weimar. This is where he painted this larger-than-life portrait. It neither emphasizes her celebrated beauty, nor is it a dramatic portrait of her in character. The enigmatic mime seems reserved rather than theatrical. Böcklin succeeded in stressing the actress’s particular qualities: Being a tragedienne, she perfectly incorporates a maximum of suffering.

About the Acquisition

In 1934 there was an opportunity to purchase Arnold Böcklin's portrait of Fanny Janauschek for 27,000 marks. Swarzenski, the director of the Städel, had already been dismissed from his municipal offices because of his Jewish faith. In a special publication dedicated to the portrait, Swarzenski discussed the painterly approach to this monumental likeness. The subject was a celebrated actress in the nineteenth century, having achieved her breakthrough during her early years in Frankfurt. The purchase of Böcklin's work marked the end of the series of acquisitions by the Museums-Verein for some time. Not until 1957, almost a quarter of a century later, was the museum association able to resume its activities, which had come virtually to a standstill during the Second World War.


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Work Data

Basic Information

Portrait of the Actress Fanny Janauschek
Production Place
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Work Catalogues
  • Andree 1998, Nr. 133

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Eigentum des Städelschen Museums-Vereins e.V.
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1934, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Medium
  • Schiller, Freidrich: Die Braut von Messina oder die feindlichen Brüder


  • 48C8312 portrait of actor, actress
  • 61BB2(JANAUSCHEK, Fanny)1 historical person (JANAUSCHEK, Fanny) - BB - woman - historical person(JANAUSCHEK, Fanny) portrayed
  • 61BB2(+55) historical persons - BB - woman (+ full length portrait)
  • 31AA231 standing figure - AA - female human figure

Research and Discussion


Object History
Karl Wallenreiter, Weimar/Stuttgart
Johann Peter Wilhelm Zobel, Frankfurt am Main, um 1870
... Philipp Wilhelm Holzmann (1869-1951), seit mindestens 1896
Verkauf über die Kunsthandlung Victor Rheins, Berlin an den Städelschen Museums-Verein e.V., Frankfurt am Main, 1934.


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 type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

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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