The Artists’ Colony (Künstlerkolonie) Mathildenhöhe is considered the most beautiful Art Nouveau/Jugendstil complex in Germany. It provided impulses toward reform in the areas of architecture, landscape art, interior design, and arts and crafts.
This gentleman is Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig von Hessen (1868-1937). Without the educated and art-appreciative Grand Duke, Mathildenhöhe would not have existed in its current form. Ernst Ludwig had close connections to England, and so he had contact with the arts and crafts movement there, which opposed architectural historicism and low-quality goods. From this evolved a return to the qualities of craftsmanship.
In 1898, Ernst Ludwig called seven artists (among them Peter Behrens, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Albin Müller) to Darmstadt. Those artists created the so-called Artists’ Colony between 1899 and 1914.