A musician sits at the window gazing wistfully at the world outside. Scholderer here revisits a German Romanticist motif. Having begun his studies at the Städelschule, the artist went to Paris, where his contact with Courbet, Fantin-Latour and Manet had a formative influence on his style. In Germany there was hardly an audience for his work. Following sojourns in Kronberg, Düsseldorf and Munich, Scholderer went to London, where he remained for nearly thirty years. He returned to Frankfurt only shortly before his death, with the painting that is now considered his chief work in his luggage.
The ancestors of Martin Flersheim (1856–1935) had already lived in Frankfurt in the seventeenth century. He assembled an extensive collection of works by contemporary painters – Max Liebermann, Hans Thoma, Wilhelm Trübner and many others. He had been on the managing committee of the Städelscher Museums-Verein since its founding. Flersheim purchased Scholderer’s ‘Violinist at the Window’ in 1902, when the artist’s estate was auctioned off. He loaned the work to the Städel in 1906, then going on to donate it to the museum in 1921.