Archduke Ernest of Austria was prepared to pay 30 thalers for this little panel painting and presumably took it with him to the Habsburg Netherlands. Lucas van Valckenborch had been in the service of Ernest's brother, Matthias, who later became emperor. However, the work must have been painted in Frankfurt, where the artist had settled in 1593. When executing the painting, he was able to refer to drawings in his possession which he had made during his time at the court in Linz. The viewer gazes down into the Danube Valley from the Pöstlingberg together with the artist, who personally guarantees the accuracy. The parish church of Linz, the main square with the town hall and Castle Hill are all easily recognisable.
In March 1815, the Frankfurt businessman and banker Johann Friedrich Städel bequeathed his entire fortune and art collection to a foundation which was to be named after him: the 'Städelsches Kunstinstitut'. However, he also dedicated the foundation to the citizens of Frankfurt immaterially, wishing it to be an "adornment and of practical use" to Frankfurt's citizenry. He was thus the first ordinary citizen in the German-speaking region to found a public art museum: the present-day Städel Museum. When he died, his collection comprised 476 paintings, some 4,600 drawings, almost 10,000 printed graphics and valuable books.
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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