The viewer who ventures into the sensuous world of these bathers is an intruder. The woodland idyll contrasts with the frightened gestures of the women, who quickly retreat from the summery light into the darkness. Blechen does not focus his attention on the nudity of the women, choosing instead to celebrate nature as a protective place that is also mysterious and overpowering. The height of the trees and the exaggeratedly tall format of the picture make the bathing women look tiny, while the brightness of the foreground emphasises the darkness of the forest. Blechen painted several variations of this scene in the park at Terni.
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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