Station:  Picture Gallery
M: If pictures could talk – what would they tell you? And what did the artist have in mind when he portrayed a child holding a rifle? Our art gallery presents a selection of 18th and 19th century paintings from the municipal art collection. Feel free to take some time to look at them and see what they have to say.
F: One of the most talented painters of the late Isenburg period was Georg Heinrich Hergenröder. His paintings of subterranean grotto landscapes and dimly illuminated scenes reflect the sentimental zeitgeist of "Sturm und Drang", the Storm and Stress movement that ran counter to the rationalism of the Enlightenment. You’ll find his works on the wall to your left.
M: Georg Wilhelm Bode painted the portrait of his wife Anna Maria in 1835. Their marriage produced an entire dynasty of artists, which only ended with the death of the painter Adolf Bode in 1970, more than two and a half centuries later. We have several works by members of this artistically gifted family on display.
F: On the right-hand wall, there’s another of Georg Wilhelm Bode’s paintings. This one is a self-portrait showing him at a window of the palace in Kesselstadt, now a district of the town of Hanau. He has long hair and wears a black coat to show his support for the ideals of liberty. During the Revolution of 1848/49 in Germany, he took the side of the revolutionaries.
M: Staying with the subject of revolution for a moment: the artist Christian Ludwig Riesbeck painted an evocative portrait of his son Anton. This was during the Vormärz, the pre-March period preceding the German Revolution. Anton is holding a rifle. At the time, the revolutionaries were calling for the population to be armed. Being allowed to bear arms was seen as a democratic achievement. The gun in the child's hand means: the next generation has democratic rights. The painting represents a fervent call to oppose the rule of the aristocracy.
F: Probably the most famous Offenbach portrait painter of his day was Georg Oswald May. He painted the portrait of Empress Maria Theresa as well as the portrait of a noble family during the Rococo period.
Fotos: © Haus der Stadtgeschichte