The ‘master painter’ – as she was called during her lifetime – presents herself in a smock. Her gaze is piercing; her arms are crossed in front of her chest. For this likeness, the portraitist restricted herself to a palette of sober greys. Commissions received early on in her career made Roederstein financially independent from her parents. From 1909 onwards she lived in the Taunus together with her partner, Elisabeth Winterhalter, Germany’s first female surgeon. Roederstein’s self-portrait celebrates competitiveness, maturity and wisdom.
The Frankfurter Künstlerhilfe (Frankfurt Artists' Aid) was founded in 1922 as a private welfare organisation for artists in need. Shortly afterwards the city also contributed to the aid programme, and the aims of the organisation were extended at the same time. The artistic service was intended to be of great cultural assistance to the city in that it would also enable well-to-do artists like Max Beckmann to receive support, which would then strengthen their ties to Frankfurt. The support of the artists was achieved by purchasing works for the city's museums or by commissioning works from the artists.