A young woman sits in front of a flowering elder bush, which is still called "lilac" in some parts of the world. She gazes tenderly at the sleeping child in her lap. The intimate attention and familiarity suggest a mother with child. In fact, however, Thoma was modelling his younger sister Agathe (1848–1928) and a boy who was probably also a relative. The group, composed as a stable triangle, is reminiscent of depictions of the Virgin Mary with her Son. Hence, this summer idyll can be considered a precursor for the numerous religious motifs in the artist's later oeuvre.
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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