The Good Shepherd, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
The Good Shepherd
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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

The Good Shepherd, ca. 1675 – 1682

70.8 x 40.8 cm
Physical Description
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1955 as a bequest from Adolf and Luisa Haeuser
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters, room 11


About the Work

The Christ Child as ‘Good Shepherd’ – in this work Murillo combined two themes that corresponded particularly well to Catholic religious feeling in Spain. Shown as a young child, Christ appeals to the viewer’s emotions. His shepherd’s crook and sheep are an allusion to the good shepherd described in John 10:11–16, who knows his own flock just as he knows his father, and who gives his life for the sheep. While the enraptured heavenward gaze points to the influence of Guido Reni, the paint has been applied in a manner strongly reminiscent of Rubens and Van Dyck.

About the Acquisition

Privy Councillor Adolf Haeuser made a fortune serving the Farbwerke Hoechst company as a legal advisor. As stipulated in their wills, after the deaths of Adolf Haeuser in 1938 and his wife, Luisa, in 1953, their property was distributed among several charitable foundations which were to be newly established, including the Adolf und Luisa Haeuser-Stiftung for the cultivation of art and culture. This foundation has since acquired a number of paintings which are on loan to the Städel. The museum also received paintings from the Haeusers’ private estate.


  • Basic information
  • Focus on religion

Work Data

Basic Information

The Good Shepherd
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1955 as a bequest from Adolf and Luisa Haeuser

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions
Associated Source
  • Bibel, Neues Testament, Matthäus 18,10-14
  • Bibel, Neues Testament, Johannes 10,1-18
  • Bibel, Altes Testament, Ezechiel 34,11-22


  • 11DD3271(+0) Christ as Good Shepherd - DD - Christ beardless (+ variant)
  • 11D2 Christ as child or youth (in general) ~ Christian religion

Research and Discussion


Object History
Herzog von Leuchtenberg, München, seit mindestens 1850
Privatbesitz (Alder), Attisholz
verkauft an Galerie F. Heinemann, München, 21. Oktober 1932 [2]
verkauft an Adolf Haeuser (1857-1938) und Luisa Haeuser (1869-1953), Frankfurt am Main, 21. Oktober 1932
Vermächtnis Adolf und Luisa Haeuser an die Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, 1955.


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

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