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Biographical/Historical Information

Cécile Charlotte Sophie Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (née Jeanrenaud) met notable composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847), a grandson of the famed German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, in 1836. The couple married in 1837 and had five children: Carl, Marie, Paul, Lili and Felix. After the death of her husband in 1847, she returned to Frankfurt to live with her mother.

Eduard Magnus was a German painter and professor, born in Berlin. He studied medicine, architecture, and philosophy at the University of Berlin, and he also studied painting at the Berlin Academy of Art with Jacob Schlesinger prior to his first exhibit in 1829. Magnus traveled to France, Italy, Spain, and Egypt for a number of years throughout his life. In 1844, he began teaching at the Academy of Art. Though Magnus never married, he was devoted to his family. Eduard Magnus died of a stroke in 1872.

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Magnus, Eduard: Portrait of Cécile Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Leo Baeck Institute, 93.5.