Around 1965, Eugen Schönebeck began assembling an imaginary gallery of “friendship portraits”, including this drawing of the Soviet novelist Mikhail Sholokhov (1905–1984). The writer had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his magnum opus "Quiet Flows the Don". Schönebeck based his likeness on a photograph. He captured the head and hand first with fine lines and then with very broad contours, and depicted the shaded areas of the face as segments of dense hatching. The strong chiaroscuro contrasts and block-like forms lend the head a sculptural quality.
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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