“Das Bild hat einigen historischen Werth und deshalb wird es vielleicht ausgestellt …“ Zum Ausstellungsdebüt Julie Hagens in München: Das Porträt des Freundes und Mentors Moritz Rugendas


  • Christin Conrad University of Tartu




Julie Hagen Schwarz, Moritz Rugendas, Portraiture, Munich, Dorpat, Art Around 1850, Female Artists, Kunstverein, Exhibition Debut, Attribution


The article deals with an encounter between Julie Hagen Schwarz, a Baltic German artist (1824–1902), and the Ausburg artist Moritz Rugendas (1802–1858), which was of great importance for the former, while she was studying in Munich around 1850. It also deals with the first presentation of her work in the Munich artist community, which resulted from cooperation with and promotion by Rugendas. Special attention is paid to the history of Hagen’s “Portrait of Moritz Rugendas in Brasilian Costume”, which originated from the artist’s close cooperation with the master Rugendas. Its presentation in the Munich and Augsburg Art Associations (Kunstverein) in October 1849 and May 1850 and the effect this had on the artistic career of Julie Hagen is examined. From this moment on, her works were discussed by colleagues and important personalities. She received many portrait commissions and her works were shown at several exhibitions in Munich and Augsburg. A discussion on the whereabouts of the still lost original painting and the provenance and authorship of a smaller copy in the collection of the Kadriorg Museum in Tallinn, which until now was identified as a “Self-Portrait” by Moritz Rugendas, follows. The attribution and the provenance of the preserved work from the Liphart collection are considered, along with the source texts, which suggest that Julie Hagen was the author and a correction of the attribution is in order.

The collected findings published here were developed from the preserved letters of Julie Hagen, which, as rich and unique source material, show the artistic career of the painter. As a representative of her generation of female artists, it also provides an insight into the social context and educational situation of ambitious female painters around 1850. In connection with the correct attribution, the art-history investigation and positioning of the artist in the art community, it is hoped that the uncertainty that currently exists when evaluating the artistic performance of female painters and the low status assigned to them in exhibitions and the acquisition policy of museums will give way to growing interest, understanding and greater recognition.


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Author Biography

Christin Conrad, University of Tartu

Christin Conrad (M.A.) studied art history, business administration and architecture in Göttingen (Georg-August-Universität) and Berlin (Freie Universität). Restorer of paintings and frames. Made study visits to Italy and Estonia. Research focused on: Baltic and German painting of the 19th century, history of female artists. Participates in the Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin, Carl-Schirren-Gesellschaft in Lüneburg, and the Ostpreußisches Landesmuseum Lüneburg. From 1997 to 2014 worked actively in the Schwarz family archive in Lüneburg/Dresden. Curator of an exhibition about the artistic friendship between Julie Hagen and Moritz Rugendas at the Schaezlerpalais, Augsburg in 2016 and publisher of the catalogue accompanying the exhibition. Currently preparing an edition of the Munich letters of Julie Hagen (publication planned for 2018).