At the age of 41, Henri Rousseau quit his job as a customs official to be able to devote himself solely to painting. Self-taught, he developed a style characterised by distortions, incongruous proportions and perspectives. Here, tiny people walk along an avenue with trees lined up uniformly. Every detail, whether in the foreground or background, is, in a certain naïve manner, treated with equal importance. Due to the fusion of dream world and reality in his works, Rousseau is considered one of the pioneers of Surrealism.
Pauline Kowarzik (née Fellner; 1852–1930) grew up in Frankfurt and received private painting and drawing lessons at a young age. In 1896, she married the Viennese sculptor and medallist Josef Kowarzik (1860–1911), who taught sculpture at the Städelschule. Together, they were very active participants of Frankfurt’s art life and closely associated with the Städel Art Institute. Due to her notable knowledge of modern art, Pauline Kowarzik was the first woman to be appointed as a member with advisory capacity in the acquisition committee of the Städtische Galerie in 1916. Kowarzik herself owned a significant collection with modern art works. When the inflation in 1926 got her into financial trouble, Pauline Kowarzik sold her private collection to the Städel for a monthly life annuity. In 1937, 18 of the 34 works were removed from the museum as part of the “Degenerate Art” confiscation operation. Nowadays, they are either lost or in other museums all over Europe. Heckel’s "Landscape in Holstein" was the only one of these works that the Städel was able to buy back.
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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