Three Reclining Nudes, Christian Rohlfs
Christian Rohlfs
Three Reclining Nudes
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Christian Rohlfs

Three Reclining Nudes

146 x 155 mm
Physical Description
Pen and black ink over watercolour on laid paper
Inventory Number
Object Number
16178 Z
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

These two small-scale drawings (Städel Museum, Inv. No. 16177, 16178) bear witness to Rohlfs’s artistic encounter with the Brücke artists’ association. That applies both to the motif of the nude moving in nature without constraint and to the mode in which he depicted the figures. He represented their bodies with a reduced palette and no more than a few lines, entirely omitting any perspectival indication of depth. What is more, they fill the pictorial field to such an extent that they almost seem to burst the bounds of the framing lines in pen and black ink.

About the Acquisition

From 1900 onwards, the Frankfurt chemist and industrialist Carl Hagemann (1867‒1940) assembled one of the most important private collections of modern art. It included numerous paintings, drawings, watercolours and prints, especially by members of the artist group “Die Brücke”. After Carl Hagemann died in an accident during the Second World War, the then Städel director Ernst Holzinger arranged for Hagemann’s heirs to evacuate his collection with the museum’s collection. In gratitude, the family donated almost all of the works on paper to the Städel Museum in 1948. Further donations and permanent loans as well as purchases of paintings and watercolours from the Hagemann estate helped to compensate for the losses the museum had suffered in 1937 as part of the Nazi’s “Degenerate Art” campaign. Today, the Hagemann Collection forms the core of the Städel museum’s Expressionist collection.

Work Data

Basic Information

Three Reclining Nudes
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Pen and black ink over watercolour on laid paper
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Captions Added Later
verso unten links signiert und bezeichnet (mit Kopierstift und Bleistift): Christian Rohlfs Hagen. / DR Hagemann Nr. 3
Verso Stempel des Städelschen Kunstinstituts, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2356)
  • MBM mit eingekreistem A [beschnitten]

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain

Work Content

Motifs and References



  • 31A236 lying figure
  • 31AA236 lying figure - AA - female human figure

Research and Discussion


Object History
Carl Hagemann (1867-1940), Frankfurt
Nachlass Carl Hagemann, 1940
Schenkung der Erben an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1948.


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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