HANS VON MARÉES
Two Children, Seated
Oil on wood
Inv. No. 1987 (Property of the Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.)
91 × 83 cm
These two seated children painted on wood are not really human beings but putti, taken from a complex, monumental triptych. The main panels of the work, which is no longer complete today, were occupied by three saints on horseback – Martin, Hubert, and George; the area of the base was reserved for six putti. During the last ten years of his life, in his adoptive country of Italy, the German painter devoted his efforts to monumental painting, which he hoped to endow with a new composed and rigorous classicism. In a self-tormenting drive for perfection, Marées painted his works over dozens of times, to the complete consternation of the people around him.