RUPPERT, Mrs Jacob (Anna Gillig)

Partially destroyed in a fire in the 1930s. Possibly not retained.

Jacob Ruppert Senior and the sitter; George Ehret Ruppert.

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The sitter was born on 12 April 1844 and died on 16 March 1924, the daughter of brewer George Gillig. Her husband Jacob Ruppert (1842-1915) was one of the prominent brewers in America. He was born in New York and was a son of Franz and Wilhelmina Zindel-Ruppert of Bavaria. Jacob learned the brewing trade from his expert father. In 1867 he opened the Jacob Ruppert Brewing Co. on Manhattan’s then still forested Upper East Side, with a 50 foot square brick building, which was to be the first of many breweries. The Jacob Ruppert Brewery steadily became one of the largest and best-equipped breweries in the world. He eventually invested in real estate which helped the Ruppert family survive World War I, Prohibition and the Great Depression. Jacob died of cirrhosis at the age of 74. He and Anna had six children: Cornelia, Jacob, Frank, Anna, George and Amanda. Cornelia (Mrs Nahan Franko) was painted posthumously by Muller-Ury.

Muller-Ury presumably painted this sitter in the 1890s, possibly at the time he painted a posthumous portrait of her daughter Cornelia Ruppert Franko. The evidence for this is actually his diary for 1935 where he reveals in three entries that the portrait had been partially destroyed in a fire, and the family were wondering if he could restore it or paint another like it…

JANUARY 29, 1935   NY. I was called today by George Ruppert of Fifth Avenue and 93rd Street – to see my portrait of his mother wholly burned and he was sad, she was so esteemed and well liked – I think the insurance must pay to reproduce this work, and if so you can at least do something similar and almost better – Mrs Silleck, his sister, had a copy made, but it’s terrible and it can’t help me much for the composition. I had lunch with Mr & Mrs Silleck to discuss everything. – They need to look through all compositions for such work.  

MARCH 25, 1935  N.Y. Saturday. I met G. Ruppert and I hope he will let me know very soon for the portrait his mother.

April 26, 1935  Work – and that is all that can be said – How curious G. Ruppert does not even answer my letter, knowing what they want to do for the portrait of his mother which was burned!