Self Portrait (?) with his Wife and Symbols of the Christian Faith, Johann Heinrich Roos;   attributed
Johann Heinrich Roos
Self Portrait (?) with his Wife and Symbols of the Christian Faith
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Johann Heinrich Roos attributed

Self Portrait (?) with his Wife and Symbols of the Christian Faith, after 1680

70.4 x 81.0 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1816 with the founder’s bequest
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters, room 1


About the Acquisition

In March 1815, the Frankfurt businessman and banker Johann Friedrich Städel bequeathed his entire fortune and art collection to a foundation which was to be named after him: the 'Städelsches Kunstinstitut'. However, he also dedicated the foundation to the citizens of Frankfurt immaterially, wishing it to be an "adornment and of practical use" to Frankfurt's citizenry. He was thus the first ordinary citizen in the German-speaking region to found a public art museum: the present-day Städel Museum. When he died, his collection comprised 476 paintings, some 4,600 drawings, almost 10,000 printed graphics and valuable books.

Work Data

Basic Information

Self Portrait (?) with his Wife and Symbols of the Christian Faith
Production Place
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1816 with the founder’s bequest

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions
Associated Source
  • Bibel, Neues Testament, Johannes 10,1-16
  • Bibel, Altes Testament, Genesis 3,4-5
  • Bibel, Altes Testament, Numeri 21,4-9


  • 48C513 portrait, self-portrait of painter
  • 61B2(ROOS, Johann Heinrich)12 historical person (ROOS, Johann Heinrich) - historical person (ROOS, Johann Heinrich) in a double-portrait
  • 61BB2(ROOS, Anna)12 historical person (ROOS, Anna) - BB - woman - historical person (ROOS, Anna) in a double-portrait
  • 11D413 legend of the Holy Grail
  • 11L211 the ten commandments represented together on stone tablets
  • 25G31(ROSE-BUSH)(+1) shrubs: rose-bush (+ plants used symbolically)
  • 11F111 symbols of Mary from litanies
  • 11D326 'Fons Vitae', 'Fons Pietatis'
  • 73C821 the good shepherd (Christ) defending his sheep against wolves; 'I am the good shepherd' (John 10:1-16)
  • 71A411 the serpent tries to persuade Eve to take some of the fruit (usually an apple)
  • 71E324 the brazen serpent (Numbers 21:4-9)

Research and Discussion


Object History
Johann Friedrich Städel (1728–1816), Frankfurt am Main
Nachlass Johann Friedrich Städel, 1816.


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.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the museum at .

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