Portrait of a young Frau Rat.

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Portrait of a young Frau Rat.

(Active in Frankfurt around 1757/58) Documented portrait of the mother of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Catharina Elisabeth von Goethe, nee Textor (Frankfurt, 19 February 1731 - 13 September 1808). The painting depicts Goethe's mother in her youth - presumably she was around 26 years old when this portrait was made. The lively eyes are repeated in later portraits - accurately reflecting her self-awareness and famous storytelling inclination. She wears a cap on her combed-back hair, adorned with colored enamel flowers; such flowers are listed in her estate. She wears a blue silk coat trimmed with fur. This coat plays a decisive role in dating the painting, as her husband, Caspar Goethe, conducted the famous household book "Liber Domesticus" very seriously and regularly, mostly in Latin, where he recorded the acquisition of a fur-trimmed coat in the Russian style for 22 gulden in November 1757, "Mantilla pellicea Moscovita," a winter coat with a fur-trimmed hood, as seen in the painting. Accordingly, Catharina Elisabeth would have been 26 years old at the time of her portrait. This portrait of Goethe's mother was probably commissioned by her parents, the Textors, as it was not listed in Goethe's father's household book. Perhaps it later hung in the house on Großer Hirschgraben itself. In that case, it would be a possible original furnishing piece of the Goethe House. Oil on canvas, doubled; 87.5 cm x 65 cm. On the reverse of the stretcher, there is a note: "Collection M. H. Franke Murrhardt." Minor restorations and retouching. Frame. This painting is documented and depicted in the biography "Frau Rat - Elisabeth Goethe, nee Textor" by Johannes Höffner, Bielefeld/Leipzig, 1908 or 1912. Furthermore, it is depicted and discussed in the biography "Goethe's Mother" by Dagmar von Gersdorff, 2003. Additionally, there is a photo reproduction of this painting in the Austrian National Library in Vienna. In Höffner's biography, this "Portrait of the Young Frau Rat" is listed as "in the possession of Adolf Weigel in Leipzig." The Leipzig publisher and antiquarian Adolf Weigel, who founded his antiquarian bookshop in 1892 and specialized in German literature and cultural history, died in 1927. The note on the reverse of the stretcher referring to "Collection M. H. Franke, Murrhardt" refers to Margarete H. Franke, wife of Richard Franke, the Murrhardt fur trader. The couple originally worked in the fur industry in Leipzig. In the catalog they published in 1968 for their art collection on the theme of fur, this "Fur Coat Portrait" can also be found. Before this time, the information about whom it concerned had been lost, as the portrait of Catharina Elisabeth Goethe was considered missing for a long time and only reappeared in the South German private collection, where it ended up as an anonymous portrait due to the fur coat.

11 Feb 2024

5 298 700,00



Author Unknown Author

Style Portrait

Lot location Moscow ( 77 )

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