Art production, the art market and the culture of collecting in Frankfurt am Main have been characterized by Dutch religious refugees since the end of the sixteenth century. Additionally, the domestic culture in the bourgeois commercial and fair city of Frankfurt promoted a preference for small-scale Dutch easel paintings. This is why the paintings collection of the Historisches Museum Frankfurt (Historical Museum) includes many works of Dutch and Flemish artists, like the St. Anne Altarpiece by the Antwerp master of Frankfurt, the sixteen-part St. Anne Altar by a Flemish master from 1495 and paintings by religious refugees like Hendrik van der Borcht, Maarten van Valckenborch and Hendrik van Steenwijck. Most of the Dutch and Flemish paintings in the museum can be traced back to three Frankfurt collectors: the confectioner Johann Valentin Prehn (1749–1821), the painters Johann Ludwig Ernst Morgenstern (1738–1819) and Johann Friedrich Morgenstern (1777–1844) and the tradesman Johann Georg Christian Daems (1774–1856). Around 18% (ca. 235 of 1280) of their paintings are of the Dutch and Flemish schools from the late sixteenth and seventeenth century. The Morgenstern copies after Dutch and Flemish works account for another 10% (122 of 1280) of the paintings collection.
Dr. Wolfgang P. Cilleßen, Curator (May 2020)