The painting by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800-1882), portraying an imagined meeting among scholars Moses Mendelsohn (1729-1786), Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) and theologian Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801) in Mendelssohn's Berlin home, is one of the most prized holdings in the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life. Described and reproduced in articles, books and exhibition catalogs, it appears on the cover of several volumes.
Art collector and artist Sarah Samuels Stein (1870-1953), of San Francisco, married Michael Stein, the older brother of Leo Stein and Gertrude Stein, in 1894. In 1903, she moved to Paris with her husband and their son, Allan, and lived there until 1935. She collected the works of Henri Matisse (1869-1954), promoting his career and bringing his paintings to the United States. She was also, informally, Matisse's student.