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.
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.
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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