c.1530 / Oil on oak panel / 32”x25 1/4” / Private collection
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Marie Anna Zacharias (November 11, 1828 – February 15, 1907) was a German art patron, amateur artist, and co-founder & deputy president of the Hamburg Kunstfreunde (Friends of Art), a society of Hamburg’s fine arts patrons formed in 1893 and attached closely to the Hamburger Kunsthalle art museum.
Marie Zacharias was the center of a large circle of intellectual and artistic people. She enjoyed music, played the piano, painted, drew, wrote about art and cultural history, and was well known for the musical evenings at her home where artists, merchants, and officials gathered together.
In 1893, Zacharias’ close friend [Hamburger Kunsthalle director] Alfred Lichtwark founded the Gesellschaft Hamburgischer Kunstfreunde. Collectors, art lovers, and amateurs gathered for an exchange of ideas, up-to-date information about the Hamburger Kunsthalle, and the new acquisitions of the collection. Once a year they held an exhibition which included art by the members.
The society published a yearbook from 1895-1912, which was designed by the members themselves. Each volume contained vignettes and illustrations contributed by members. Until her death in 1907, Zacharias was represented in almost every volume of the society’s yearbooks. Later in life she concentrated on woodcuts, and she wrote her memoirs, “Family, City and Children Stories”. Marie Zacharias died at the age of 78 years; until 14 days before her death she was still taking drawing lessons. Her work can be found in the Museum of Hamburg History, the State Archives, and the Hamburger Kunsthalle. Three portraits of Zacharias painted by Leopold von Kalckreuth in 1904 at the suggestion of Lichtwark are also in the collection of the Hamburger Kunsthalle.