Jakob Becker’s sketchbook, which is mostly blank and undated, contains mainly figure studies of people in traditional costume from Hessia. They served – as suggested by a compositional sketch pasted into the front of the book as well as a whole series of individual sheets also kept in the Städel Museum – to prepare a painting (which is as yet unidentified) that was to show boys and girls of different ages singing outdoors under the direction of a teacher. The teacher on sheet 5 recto bears the features of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. For the other studies, Becker seems to have used individual children as models: their posture is too similar to the designed composition, their features seem too much like portraits. Becker carefully studied their clothing, especially the traditional costumes, which he coloured with a brush in watercolour. – See also the slightly altered compositional study (Inv. 14960) and other individual figure studies (Inv. 14523, 14524, 14543, 14893, 14894, 15027) in the Städel Museum, which, in comparison with the painting, would provide information about the work process.
The sketchbook contains a trace copy and a few rough sketches in various formats, which were made by Becker, as well as a portrait of the 25-year-old artist drawn in pencil by Johann Jakob Jung (?) in Frankfurt in 1835.
For a full sketchbook description, please see “Research”.
Art-technology findings and/or documentation regarding conservation and restoration are available for this work. If interested, please contact .