Workshops and Masters

The winged altarpiece is a multi-generational work by the Morgenstern family of painters in Frankfurt. Symmetrically arranged, the folding cabinet brings together 75 copies of works — originating largely from private collections in Frankfurt — that had been restored in the Morgensterns’ workshop. The dense hanging was characteristic of the painting collections of the time; this was also practiced by Goethe’s father and can still be seen at the Goethe House today. More than half of the originals were Dutch paintings from the 17th century, including landscapes and genre paintings as well as portraits. Paintings by contemporary artists active in Frankfurt and environs such as Johann Georg Trautmann and Johann Heinrich Seekatz were also copied. Goethe himself admired the “home altar” of art at Morgenstern’s Frankfurt studio in 1814.