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Collectors and Donors of Frankfurt

The Founding of the "Museum of Frankfurt" – The collection of Carl Theodor von Dalberg

 

One of the twelve collectors and donors featured in the permanent exhibition "Collectors and Donors of Frankfurt" is Carl Theodor von Dalberg (1744-1818). It is not least of all his cultural-political initiative that we have to thank for the founding of the "Frankfurter Museum" in 1808.

 

The reforms Dalberg carried out as prince-primate of the grand duchy of Frankfurt also targeted the advancement of the fine arts. The "Frankfurter Museum" was founded in 1808 on the incentive of legation councillor Nikolaus Vogt and various artists of Frankfurt. Dalberg donated to this new institution not only the paintings from the town's secularized churches, monasteries and convents, but also numerous works by contemporary artists of Frankfurt – among them Christian Georg Schütz the Younger, Anton Radl, Johann Philipp Ulbricht and Ursula Magdalena Reinheimer – which he had purchased or commissioned. The newly founded museum also offered events such as concerts, lectures and art presentations aiming at the comprehensive education of the citizens.

 
One of the outstanding objects in the Dalberg collection is the Altarpiece of St Anne, which is on view in its entirety for the first time in more than two hundred years. It is joined by other works likewise long not on view to the public – for example the Last Judgement, a painting of the 1630s attributed to Philipp Uffenbach, Joseph Nikolaus Peroux's Death of King Günther of Schwarzburg and His Reconciliation with His Opponent Carl IV of 1808, the View of the Brunhilda Stone on Feldberg Mountain of 1810 by Christian Georg Schütz the Younger, or Joseph Chabord's Self-Portrait with the Bust of the Grand Duke of Frankfurt, Carl Dalberg of 1810. 

 

 

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Franz Stirnbrand, Portrait of Prince-Primate Carl Theodor von Dalberg, 1812, oil on canvas, Inv.-No. B1234 (c) hmf, photo: H. Ziegenfusz

Franz Stirnbrand, Portrait of Prince-Primate Carl Theodor von Dalberg, 1812, oil on canvas, Inv.-No. B1234 (c) hmf, photo: H. Ziegenfusz