The Hermit in front of His Retreat, Carl Spitzweg
Carl Spitzweg
The Hermit in front of His Retreat
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Carl Spitzweg

The Hermit in front of His Retreat, 1844

30.5 x 34.5 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1900 as a gift from Martin Flersheim, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art, room 3


About the Acquisition

The merchant Martin Flersheim (1856-1935) was a member of the board of the Städelscher Museums-Verein from the society's foundation in 1899 until his death, as well as a member of many other cultural institutions. The Flersheim family owned - in the words of the prominent house guest Harry Graf Kessler - an "extensive, fairly colourful collection of pictures". In 1900 Martin Flersheim made his first donation to the Städelscher Museums-Verein, which had been in existence for just one year: Carl Spitzweg's 'The Hermit in front of His Retreat'. It was the first painting to be included in the museum's collection by the popular but subtle painter. Shortly afterwards, Flersheim bequeathed another work to the Städel: Otto Scholderer's 'Violinist by the Window'.

Work Data

Basic Information

The Hermit in front of His Retreat
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Eigentum des Städelschen Museums-Vereins e.V.
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1900 as a gift from Martin Flersheim, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif


  • 41A18 hut, cabin, lodge
  • 11Q331 anchorite, hermit
  • 11Q51 reading the Bible or other religious books

Research and Discussion


Object History
Martin Flersheim (1856-1935), Frankfurt am Main
Schenkung an den Städelschen Museums-Verein e.V., Frankfurt am Main, 1900.


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.

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