Felicie Bernstein

Felicie Rosenthal Bernstein was as famed for her salons as for her art collection, both of which helped bring an appreciation for modern art to Berlin’s high society. After losing her mother at an early age, Bernstein became the hostess in her father’s house. She married Carl Bernstein, a lawyer and scholar, in 1872 and followed him to Berlin, where he became professor of Roman Law at the University of Berlin in 1886. The couple became famous for entertaining scholars, musicians, writers, and museum directors, as well as artists like Max Klinger and Max Liebermann. Bernstein also amassed a collection of modern masters including Manet, Monet and Pissaro, generating interest in the new style among her guests. After her husband’s death in 1894, Bernstein travelled to Britain and France with her sister-in-law, turning their hotel rooms into temporary salons that welcomed great artists and writers of London and Paris, including Emile Zola. Undeterred by ill health, she contributed to various charities and social reform organizations and continued to travel throughout Europe until the end of her life.

Topics: Painting

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Portrait of Felicie Bernstein, 1872. From Carl and Felicie Bernstein. Recollections of their Friends. (Carl und Felicie Bernstein. Erinnerungen ihrer Freunde. Ed. and preface by Georg Treu. With essays by Max Liebermann, Gustav Cohn, Hugo von Tschudi et al. Illustration on p. 15. Dresden: 1914.

Date of Birth

St. Petersburg

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Felicie Bernstein." (Viewed on September 20, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/bernstein-felicie>.


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