Liquor and smoke dominate the scene. The woman on the right looks at her companion glassy-eyed. Their revealing necklines, and above all the bed in the background, leave no doubt: the two female protagonists are prostitutes. Depictions of the poor and licentious members of society had been popular in Haarlem since Frans Hals. Yet Cornelis Bega rendered the fabrics with delicate colours and folds. He thus combined the coarse peasant genre with the aesthetic of the “Leiden fine painters” around Gerard Dou, who was highly prized by art admirers of the period.
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.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the museum at .