Peter Paul Rubens: Hochaltarbild für die Augustinerkirche in Antwerpen, 1628, Öl auf Leinwand, 564 x 401 cm, Inv.-Nr. IB1958.001, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerpen
Rubens developed many of his large-scale painting commissions in series of sketches. Painted on both sides, this panel served him in 1627/28 in his preparations for the altarpiece of the Church of the Augustinians in Antwerp. The Frankfurt sketch combines several individual studies in an overall composition for the first time. Badly damaged by a strip of wood glued to it later on, the sketch of a lion hunt on the back was carried out in preparation for the painting cycle executed by Rubens from 1628 onwards for Maria de’ Medici as an apotheosis of Henri IV of France.
Art collecting was popular among the well-to-do burghers of Frankfurt during the eighteenth century, but only in the case of the banker and spice merchant Johann Friedrich Städel (1728-1816) did the private art collection end up as an art institute that was open to the public. Städel decreed in his will in 1815 that his collection should be "open for use and inspection by prospective artists and art lovers on specific days and at specific times freely and without charge, under appropriate supervision". He also expressed the wish "that in future the Institute should be expanded through contributions, legacies and gifts by other art lovers and supporters of the fine arts".
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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