Modern Art (187 Lots)
187 lots with images
December 2, 2016Live Auction
December 2, 2016Live Auction
Description: Monogrammed signet 'AM' (joined) on the left side of the plinth.No foundry mark.With a certificate by Ursel Berger, Berlin, dated 30 August 2016So far, the creation of this bronze by Aristide Maillol, whose motif is also often described as “Debout se coiffant (Standing figure arranging her hair)”, had usually been dated to 1907. However, Ursel Berger, of Berlin, has been able to conclude that there is actually no known basis for this. It was presumably modelled earlier, around 1905: “The statuette is one of the sculptures that Aristide Maillol sold to the art dealer Ambroise Vollard. In the second contract between Maillol and Vollard, from 20 December 1905, it is - very probably - listed as 'femme les deux mains aux cheveux'. The figure was thus modelled no later than 1905. Vollard purchased it together with the right to create editions from it: 'avec le droit d'édition et de reproduction'. [...] As was customary in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the edition was unlimited. It is not known how many casts the edition contained. From 1909 the Vollard bronzes were apparently all produced using a sand-casting process at the Parisian foundry of Florentin Godard. Generally the bronzes do not display a foundry mark. Production ended in the 1930s. It has not yet been possible to date the casts. With its compact three-dimensionality and its even, enamel-like patina, the present bronze is typical of the Godard casts of Vollard's Maillol editions.” (Ursel Berger, expert report)These Parisian bronzes from the edition of Ambroise Vollard belong to the series of early statuettes by Aristide Maillol, which were already in great demand among collectors of his time. The bronzes of this edition cast during Maillol's lifetime differ markedly from the posthumous, much more recent and numbered editions initiated by his estate.
Condition Report: Even black patina with a greenish tinge, partially lightened in bronze colour.View additional info
Description: Each inscribed "8" resp. "8a" in pencil lower right.With an expertise by Otto Stangl, Munich dated 9 February 1978The present drawing is from the second of Franz Marc's total of 33 sketchbooks. Presumably made up of five groupings consisting of four leaves each, the sketchbook contains relatively few drawings; it begins with a portrait of his friend Annette von Eckhardt. In contrast to most of Marc's other sketchbooks, the remainder contains almost exclusively portrait and nude drawings. It features the largest paper format of all of the preserved sketchbooks. Today, except for a few pages, it is to be found in an almost complete form in the collection of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg (cf. Annegret Hoberg/Isabelle Jansen, Franz Marc Werkverzeichnis Band III, Skizzenbücher und Druckgraphik, Munich 2011, pp. 16 ff.). Our drawing presents what is perhaps the most impressive nude of this second sketchbook. The reverse side contains a pencil drawing following the outlines of the nude on the front side.Marc began his second sketchbook in 1904. During the years of that period - with regard to his overall oeuvre - the artist was searching for his own possibilities for expressing himself. For him it was a time of feeling his way along and experimenting, and the body of works he created were thus strikingly multifaceted from a formal point of view. Marc had not become familiar with the work of the French Impressionists until he was in Paris in 1903. Deeply impressed, it became clear to him that the aim of art could not lie in the reproduction of the visible world. Marc sensed that he had to look behind the outward appearance of things (cf. exhib. cat. Franz Marc: Zeichnungen und Aquarelle, Berlin/Essen/Tübingen 1989-1990, Brücke Museum et al., p. 17).
Condition Report: In excellent condition.View additional info
Description: Signed 'A. Rodin' on the base to the right and with the cast number. With the foundry annotation "Susse Fondeur Paris" and the circular foundry mark "Susse/F.P." (joined signet) on the edge of the back side.Susse Fondeur Paris (cast 2013). Cast E.A. IV/IV.With an expertise by the Comité Auguste Rodin, Francois Lorenceau and Jérome Le Blay, Paris, dated 21 January 2014. The work is registered and will be included in the Catalogue Critique de l'Oeuvre Sculpté d'Auguste Rodin of the Comité Auguste Rodin by Jérôme Le Blay, Galerie Brame & Lorenceau, currently under preparation under the no. 2013-4280B.It is well known that Rodin experimented with the titles given to his sculptures. They are to be understood in freely associative terms, and they played a largely subordinate role for him as an artist and creative demiurge. However, they were indubitably important for the works' reception in Rodin's own time. Thus, looking back from today, they result in the phenomena of the gaze being linked to elements typical of that period as well as others which were already historical at that time; these links cannot be understood without the French 18th century (Clodion), the “fin de siècle” or Symbolism. Rodin sought inspiration in a poetic manner. In the present case, sources of a literary nature are to be assumed on the basis of the titles given to the work - for example, the mythological “Metamorphoses” of Ovid, which Rodin read (just as he admired Baudelaire and Dante). Stéphane Mallarmé's “L'Après-midi d'un faune” (1875) may also have provided the impulse behind the work. A plaster cast of the smaller first version of “Le Minotaure”, which was also realised in bronze (33cm in height), was dedicated by Rodin to Mallarmé - like other prominent figures of his time. If we call to mind the degree to which fauns and satyrs dominated the narrative visual worlds - including the “kitsch” - of the second half of the 19th century and still continued to do so at the turn of the century, we may nonetheless be able to sense the level of shock involved in the direct encounter with Rodin's erotic image. It was undoubtedly a tremendous and unsettling provocation: “Rodin semblait s'amuser de mon étonnement silencieux”, writes Paul Gsell. “En somme, me dit-il, l'on ne doit pas attribuer trop d'importance aux thèmes que l'on interprète. Sans doute, ils ont leur prix et contribuent à charmer le public; mais le principal souci de l'artiste doit être de façonner des musculatures vivantes. Le reste importe peu. Puis, tout à coup, comme s'il devinait mon désarroi: - Ne croyez pas, mon cher Gsell, que mes dernières paroles contredisent celles que j'ai prononcées auparavant.Si je juge qu'un statuaire peut se borner à représenter de la chair qui palpite, sans se préoccuper d'aucun sujet, cela ne signifie pas que j'exclue la pensée de son travail; si je déclare qu'il peut se passer de chercher des symboles, cela ne signifie pas que je sois partisan d'un art dépourvu de sens spirituel. Mais, à vrai dire, tout est idée, tout est symbole.” (Paul Gsell, Auguste Rodin, L'Art: Entretiens réunis, Paris (1911), 1924, pp. 214, 217). Using his characteristic technique of assemblage - his experimentation with his own pre-existing pieces - Rodin developed “Le Minotaure” into the group “Pygmalion and Galatea”, among others. No less a figure than Karl Ernst Osthaus commissioned Rodin to provide an enlarged marble version of this erotic group for the Folkwang Museum in Hagen, which was delivered in 1904 (A. Le Normand-Romain, The Bronzes of Rodin, op. cit., vol. II, Paris 2007, p. 524). He purchased it under the title based on Ovid, “Jupiter toreau”, which it still bore at that time. Along with the “Age of Bronze” and “Eve”, two bronzes representative of the sculptor's work and purchased for the museum by Osthaus, “only a marble came under consideration. The selection among the works under way was not large; most of them had already been promised to admirers. I finally chose the e
Condition Report: With even, dark brown patina with a greenish tinge.View additional info
Description: Signed 'M. Liebermann' in ink lower right.In the course of his annual stays in Holland, Max Liebermann painted the Jewish quarter for the first time in the summer of 1905, at the suggestion of the director of Amsterdam's academy of art. The painter was particularly captivated by a vantage point offering a view into the Uilenbergersteeg from the main street Jodenbreestraat, and he selected it for a number of images (cf. Eberle 1905/6-12, 1907/5-9).The broad and rapid brushwork is striking: it captures not the singular individual but the passers-by and visitors to the market as a crowd - it is scarcely possible to make out a traditional Dutch bonnet in the foreground. The motif's simplification within the relatively small format of the painting heightens the impression of restless commotion seemingly reigning among the buildings and market stalls. The cropped scenery, which has been pushed towards the viewers, is simultaneously modern and bursts through the painting's edges. Although the impossibility of identifying concrete people and individual events demands fantasy from viewers, the image remains representational.On 27 August 1905 Max Liebermann wrote from Amsterdam to Wilhelm Bode, in the course of a discussion regarding national characteristics in visual art, which are rejected by the painter himself:“I've also worked 8 hours today and under the most difficult outward circumstances. Böcklin and Thoma make things easy for themselves: they 'invent'. But in art invention rests solely on the 'dressing' of nature for art. Anyone can think up paintings […] Bringing to life is making art.” (cited in: Ernst Braun (ed.), Max Liebermann: Briefe 1902-1906, Baden-Baden 2013, no. 358, pp. 343 f.).
Condition Report: Few nail holes in the margins; margins and corners partly minimallly rubbed. Two superficial losses of colour. - Several gallery labels as well as customs and export stamps in French and English on the reverse.View additional info and full condition report
Description: Unsigned.With a photo-expertise by Eberhard Hanfstaengl in Munich dated 21 January 1972With an expertise by Matthias Eberle, Max Liebermann-Archiv, Berlin, dated 19 April 2016. The work will be included in the supplement to the catalogue raisonné under the no. "1909/14a".Max Liebermann began regularly spending his summers along the Dutch coast of the North Sea as early as 1872. In doing so the artist followed the French Impressionists, who had established the motif of the summer stay at the seaside. Liebermann arrived at his paintings of riders not least through Isaac Israels, with whom he painted horses in motion for the first time at the beach of Scheveningen in the summer of 1900. Just a few months later, Liebermann summarised this period in a letter to Franz Servaes: “With regard to me personally, I have entered into a new […]period: in the three months that I was just now in Holland, I shed my skin once more, paint horses [...].” (letter to Franz Servaes of 14 Oct 1900, in: Max Liebermann, Briefe, vol. 2, ed. by Ernst Braun, Baden-Baden 2012, p. 366).Matthias Eberle also describes Liebermann's work from around 1900 as defined by a stylistic change and new motifs: “Scenes featuring movements become particularly fruitful: preferably movements that, if they do not show people battling with nature, at least emphasise that they must summon up effort and strength in striving to subject nature to their will. This is exemplified by dozens of paintings like 'Reiter am Strand' - where most of the riders peacefully go their way - soon developing into the motif of the 'taming of the horses', which start with fright at the breaking waves and want their riders to guide them. ” (Matthias Eberle in his expertise). Liebermann's depictions of horses from the early 20th century are defined by people's intense and strenuous struggle with the animal. This struggle corresponds to the element of the painter's exertions while searching for the right artistic formulation: “He [Liebermann] therefore repeatedly drew horse tamers, regardless of whether they are boys or grown men, and in revising and elaborating upon this motif in his paintings, he arrived at a new formal idiom that is unknown from his previous work and which is no longer found after the period from 1909 to 1912.” (ibid.)The present work impressively demonstrates the power of conviction with which Max Liebermann was able to capture living nature in its unique character and transfer it into a painted image. As an emblem of his own creative process, the motif of the horse tamers certainly also provides us with special insight into Liebermann's artistic self-concept.
Condition Report: A short, professionally closed tear to the left margin at horizon height.View additional info
Description: Signed 'E Barlach' on the right side of the plinth. Foundry mark "H. NOACK BERLIN" verso on edge of plinth upper right and stamped numeration left.Posthumous cast from the Barlach estate on the basis of the plaster model (Laur 327, Ernst Barlach Stiftung Güstrow) from the early 1990s. Laur mentions an edition of 12 bronzes, cast from 1996 onwards. There were no life-time casts. Cast 6/12.With a confirmation to the former owner from Ernst Barlach, Lizenzverwaltung Ratzeburg, dated 26 September 2016The motif of the squanderer goes back to a charcoal drawing created in September of 1912, which the artist identifies in a handwritten note as a depiction of the “prodigal son”. Barlach is referring to the “Parable of the Lost Son”, told in the Gospel of Luke, in which the younger son squanders the inheritance paid out to him and then, as a repentant beggar, subsequently confesses his sins before his father. Filled with joy by his return, the father immediately holds a great feast and takes him back into the fold of the family.In 1915 Barlach took up this subject - which is often referred to in the history of art - in the context of his designs for a chimney facing at Charlotte von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's Berlin residence; however, this piece would be realised in a different form. It was not until 1921 that Barlach created the model of “Verschwender I”, which he formulated as a casually standing man of a young age. Dressed in a long robe and with a purse hanging in front of him, he holds several coins in the open palms of his crossed hands.Barlach designed a second variation, which differs only slightly from the present sculpture, along with other figurative decoration for the hall of the Wroclaw collector Leo Lewin's villa. However, this Wroclaw project from 1920/1921 is preserved solely in the form of sketches: it was evidently never realised. A plaster model of this variation, entitled “Der Verschwender II” (Laur 329), was also created in 1921. In addition to the three-dimensional sculptures in the round, Barlach also transposed the figure of “Der Verschwender” into a 92 cm wooden relief in 1923. Formerly with Paul Cassirer in Berlin, this work referred to as “Der Verschwender III” (Laur 357) has been in the collection of Hanover's Sprengel Museum since 1955.
Condition Report: Very fine bronze-coloured patina, in some places with slightly lustrous highlights.View additional info
Description: Signed 'E. Barlach' on back right side of the plinth and foundry mark "H. NOACK BERLIN" on lower left edge of the plinth. One of 15 unnumbered posthumous casts executed since 1952. According to the Ernst Barlach Lizenzverwaltung, the present cast is from the end of 1950s or the beginning of the 1960s. There were no life-time casts.With a confirmation from Ernst Barlach, Ernst Barlach Lizenzverwaltung, Ratzeburg, to the former owner dated 26 September 2016.Ernst Barlach relocated to Güstrow in 1910. His works of those years are sometimes defined by a taste for a grotesque and fanciful materiality, reflecting the simple life of farmers and day labourers, shepherds and market women. Far from any bucolic clichés, Barlach's figures stand in a direct relationship with the nature and lifeworld surrounding them, resisting the dictated forms of bourgeois existence with a quiet gesture: “The dramatically moved beings created by this artist are not representatives of their own 'particular little feelings', they do not ponder subjective ills; instead, they point beyond egocentrism to social behaviour, they make themselves the spokespersons of those who live in the shadows. Robust and shy, timid and full of hopes for the future, they emerge out of their seclusion and into the light.” (Elmar Jansen, Ein halbmythischer Mann namens Barlach, in: exhib. cat. Ernst Barlach: Bildhauer, Zeichner, Graphiker, Schriftsteller 1870-1938, Antwerpen 1994-1995, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, p. 289).“Der Einsame” is distinguished by his bulky and, at the same time, skilfully dynamised body. Holding a candle in his left hand, the loosely hanging robes reveal part of the upper torso. The man concentratedly directs his gaze into space and, in doing so, seems so captivated that he is in danger of losing his balance. It is this slow movement paired with the searching gaze that provide the figure with a deeply scenic aspect. In addition to the plaster model for the present bronze, an only slightly larger wooden figure (Laur 167) was created in 1911. Initially in the collection of Tilla Durieux, it is now located at the Hamburger Kunsthalle.
Condition Report: Lighter brown patina, partially greenish (primarily in the recesses).View additional info
Description: Numbered, dated, inscribed, and monogrammed with black brush "RNo 61 / 57 (crossed out) / 1910 /Morgner. TpR" by the executor Georg Tappert verso and inscribed "Sammlung August Stein" in red crayon at the bottom. Remnants of a label from Galerie Flechtheim.“Now that I have noticed that paint is colourful, I much prefer it to just black and white. I can't see why everything is supposed to be made grey and brown. In the same way, the pencil has never yet created a line in order to paint, but in order to make lines. I now want to draw with my pencil and paint with colour.” (Wilhelm Morgner to Georg Tappert, 15 May 1911. Cited in Friedrich W. Heckmanns, Zur Farbe in Morgners Bildern, in: exhib. cat. Wilhelm Morgner, Münster 1967, Landesmuseum für Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte, p. 37).Morgner's declared intention of painting with colour was already developing during his first stays at Worpswede, where he began to depict atmospheric landscapes in the landscape's earthy tonalities. Much like the “Bäume am Wasser” (1909) of the Wilhelm-Morgner-Haus Soest, the present painting stands at the beginning of Morgner's impressive exploration of colour as an artistic means.By way of an initially naturalistic palette, the artist arrived at a luminously expressive use of colour within a very brief period. He quickly began using a Divisionist technique to break up the individual hues and to apply them to the canvas alongside one another in short, impasto brushstrokes. Although this approach implies a specific familiarity with Neo-Impressionism's foundations in colour theory, Morgner had only a limited interest in the principles of optics and the theory of colour perception; instead, his aim was primarily the intensification of the colours' intrinsic value. Thus, in his flickering and mesmerizing compositions sometimes reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh's work, nature becomes the expressive vehicle of a painting process defined by its great intensity.
Condition Report: Minor retouches and partial age-related craqueleur.View additional info
Description: Unsigned. Verso with old information on the artist and the sitter by an unknown hand.The image of Rosalia Leiß is not only an impressive portrait but also a characteristic and captivating work by the Russian artist Marianne von Werefkin, co-founder of the N.K.V.M., which the artists group Der Blaue Reiter later grew out of, and long-time partner of Alexej von Jawlensky.Having personally trained with Ilya Repin and other well-known artists at a young age, she decided to support Jawlensky's work as an artist. She was financially independent on account of a pension from the czar, and she moved to Munich in 1896, together with Jawlensky. They travelled to France together in 1906 in order to study there. Werefkin felt a bond with the art of the Nabis and the work of van Gogh, Gauguin, Bernard and Anquetin, and she would later pass these ideas on to Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter, with whom she and Jawlensky would become friends in Munich during the following years (Bernd Fäthke, Marianne Werfkin - “des blauen Reiterreiterin”, in: exhib. cat. Marianne Werefkin: Vom Blauen Reiter zum Großen Bären, Städtische Galerie Bietigheim-Bissingen/Museen Böttcher Straße/Paula Modersohn-Becker Museum Bremen 2014, p. 44). Together, but independently, they discovered Murnau as a rural place of refuge - in 1909 Münter would purchase a house there, the so-called “Russian house”. Initially, however, they stayed at an inn during the summer months from 1907 to 1909.Their occupation with local farmers' folk art provided a source from which they drew new artistic impulses in a way that might be compared with how the Brücke artists of Dresden sought their salvation in the tribal art of Oceania and Africa during their search for a pristine naturalness. Kandinsky and his artist friends were particularly fascinated by reverse-glass painting, and works by Werefkin based on this Bavarian form of painting also exist (Fäthke, op. cit., fig. 48, 49). She was additionally interested in the Bavarian farmers themselves and their customs. On the one hand, the image of Rosalia Leiß is defined by the simplicity of its forms; on the other hand, the precisely modelled face of the sitter stands out in contrast to them. The portrait's exceptional interest feeds on this dichotomy: generalised forms reminiscent of the simple two-dimensionality of reverse-glass painting paired with an individual linearity. The tonality in various shades of green is subtly combined with violet. Here Werefkin establishes a complementary contrast between two secondary colours. Rosalia's cool eyes rest on the viewer with a searching gaze that almost seems a little amused. The 74-year-old embodies dignity and self-confidence, not as a simple farmer, but as the “wife of the agriculturalist” Leiß mentioned on the reverse side. The advanced nature of Werefkin's concept of painting becomes obvious through a comparison with Gabriele Münter's painted portrait of the same model from the following year, in which neither psychological depth nor a dialogue with the viewer is pursued (see comparative illus.).“The opening of the first exhibition of the N.K.V.M. took place on 1 December 1909, with 16 artists. It 'then became a major exhibition in Munich', said Jawlensky. […] Jawlensky was represented by eleven works in the exhibition. Werefkin presented six paintings, including 'Schuhplattler', a painting in which she pays tribute to Bavarian customs. […]Werefkin's 'Schuhplattler' and her reverse-glass paintings demonstrate that the Russian painter was committed to supporting Bavarian folk art.” (Fäthke, op. cit., p. 46). Werefkin's 1908 portrait of Rosalia Leiß was not shown at this exhibition of the “Neue Künstlervereinigung München” and instead remained with the family of the sitter.
Condition Report: The colours very fresh.View additional info
Description: Indistinctly signed and dated 'Erich Heckel 17' in pencil lower right and additionally signed in black pen to the reverse 'E Heckel' (barely legible).With an expertise by Hans Geissler, Gaienhofen/Hemmenhofen dated 22 December 2001. The work is to be included in the planned revised catalogue raisonné.Erich Heckel spent the final years of the First World War in Flanders, where he was deployed as a military paramedic in Ghent and Ostend. It was thanks to his friend Walter Kaesbach that the artist did not have to go to the front. The art historian and influential patron of Expressionist art had volunteered for the medical corps, and as section commander he gathered a whole series of artists in his unit. Thanks to Kaesbach's duty schedules, Heckel regularly found time to paint alongside his tasks as a paramedic. He was thus able to create over 70 paintings between 1915 and 1918, including numerous seascapes.It is readily apparent that Heckel's manner of coming to terms with the theme of war in his works is entirely different than that of Max Beckmann or Otto Dix, for example. The worlds of his paintings are characterised not by the brutality and mercilessness of war, but instead by indirect intimations of suffering and inner experience: “In fact Heckel was scarcely politicised, not to mention radicalised, through his wartime experiences, in contrast to Dix or Grosz. Extreme emotions were foreign to Heckel's personality. While Dix initially marched off to war with considerable enthusiasm, Heckel - even as a volunteer - was already far from any 'hurrah patriotism' at the time of his departure.” (Aya Soika, Erich Heckel im Ersten Weltkrieg, in: exhib. cat. Erich Heckel: Aufbruch und Tradition; Eine Retrospektive, Schleswig & Berlin 2010/11, p. 78).Although Heckel experienced the war at a certain distance in his role as a paramedic in Flanders, it was nonetheless omnipresent. In a letter sent from Ostend in October of 1915 he states: “In spite of the large battles on the Western front, little is to be seen of it so far here; everything has been prepared. After all, things can also get going any day here.” (letter to Gustav Schiefler from 1 October 1915. Cited in: Aya Soika, Erich Heckel im Ersten Weltkrieg, in: exhib. cat. Erich Heckel: Aufbruch und Tradition, op. cit., p. 79).The present seascape is able to sensitively reflect the tense ambivalence of this situation. The dark-blue sea lies almost motionless. There are no breakers; instead, the sea calmly meets the light-coloured shore between the tideways. In the sky a massive group of clouds announces its presence, so to speak, and reminds us of this deceptive summer idyll's fragility.
Condition Report: With few inconspicuous retouches.View additional info
Description: Signed 'E. L. Kirchner' in blue-black lower left and titled 'Mädchen im [sic] Südwester' in blue brush verso. - Two Basel estate stamps "NACHLASS E.L.KIRCHNER" verso, the larger one inscribed "Be/Ba 1" in black brush.The authentically and pristinely natural state that artists like Paul Gauguin or later Max Pechstein hoped to find during their stays in the South Pacific was sought and found by Ernst-Ludwig Kirchner on the German island of Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea. There, in the summer of 1912, he arrived at a previously unimagined maturity of artistic expression, as he wrote to Gustav Schiefler in December of that year: “As you well know, I was in Fehmarn again this summer after a break of 5 years. I want to go back next year, too; the extremely strong impression of the first time I was there has become deeper, and I painted pictures there of an absolute maturity, as far as I can judge that for myself” (E.L. Kirchner to G. Schiefler on 31 Dec 1912, in: idem., Briefwechsel 1910-1935/1938, Stuttgart/Zurich 1990, no. 33, p. 61).He was accompanied to Fehmarn by Erna Schilling, a dancer from Berlin whom he had met just prior to the journey and who would remain his muse, model and life partner from then on. The fact that “Mädchen in Südwester” is a depiction of Erna can be deduced from its comparison with other works by Kirchner, for example, the drawing-and-wash image “Frau mit rundem Hut - (Erna)”, which was also created in 1912 and displays her characteristic features and her thick black hair as well as clothing with a pattern similar to that in the painting (see comparative ill. 2). In composing the likeness “Mädchen in Südwester” which is being offered here, Kirchner additionally adhered to his notion of an exotic primitivism, featuring a person similar in type to the one he also used in the late-1911 woodcut vignette of his advertisement for the institute “MUIM-Moderner Unterricht in Malerei” (Modern instruction in painting), which he founded together with Pechstein (cf. Dube, woodcut 716).On Fehmarn Kirchner was able to pursue the idea of paradise, the striving for the unity of humanity and nature, like never before. “More than anywhere else, sooner or later Fehmarn became a timeless Arcadia for him, all the more so when the experience of the island stood in contrast to life in the metropolis of Berlin. Erna was […] self-evidently a part of life and nature - she became the grandly viewed core of the paintings.” (Hermann Gerlinger, Die Fehmarn-Aufenthalte Ernst Ludwig Kirchners, in: exh. cat. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner auf Fehmarn, Schloss Gottorf 1997, p. 16; see comparative ill. 3). In pursuit of his idea of paradise - alongside his realisation of corresponding motifs in his images - Kirchner built a dugout outrigger canoe for occasional outings on the Baltic Sea as well as a grass hut otherwise familiar from the peoples of the South Pacific (cf. Nicole Brandmüller, Der Expressionist in Berlin, in: exh. cat. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Retrospektive, Frankfurt 2010, p. 101; Wolfgang Henze, Fehmarn in Kirchners Werk [...], in: exhib. cat. Schloss Gottorf 1997, op. cit., pp. 26-34, fig. 29-32).In keeping with the spirit of the times, Kirchner's young Berliner with her sou'wester - a simple article of clothing that protected Holstein's seafarers and fishers from wind, rain and seawater and was generally not a part of young ladies' wardrobes in those years - points to the escapist tendencies of an artistic model of life between the urban metropolis and remote nature. This linking of exotic utopianism and a contemporary portrait founds the great appeal of this painting, which is from one of the most interesting periods in Kirchner's oeuvre and is of museological quality in terms of form and content.The “Mädchen in Südwester” is pushed towards the viewer, in a close-up against the front edge of the painting, with the strip of coast shown ascending steeply behind her; rising up on the far horizon we see the lighthouse Staberhuk, which is cro
Condition Report: A small loss of colour in the central left area of the painting, restored by the artist and backed with canvas patches verso. A short, professionally restored tear in the upper canvas overlap.View additional info and full condition report
Description: Joined monogram 'GK' on back right side of plinth and foundry marks "H. NOACK BERLIN FRIEDENAU" on the plinth edge. One of 15 lifetime casts from 1919 onwards from the edition of Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Berlin.With a certificate by Ursel Berger, Berlin.We would like to thank the foundry Noack, Berlin, for kind information.The present cast is very probably a lifetime cast from the previously mentioned first edition by Ferdinand Möller. Along with Cassirer in Berlin and Arnold in Dresden, he was another dealer with whom Kolbe was working with at that time. Ferdinand Möller had exhibited the “Kauernde” for the first time in 1919, together with other works by the sculptors Kolbe, Scheibe and Marcks. Kolbe's “Sitzende” (Berger 55) was created a few years later, in 1923: it was adapted to the figure of the “Kauernde” in terms of size and form - almost quite like a complementary piece or pendant.According to the information provided by Ursel Berger, Kolbe additionally initiated a second edition of the “Kauernde” in 1940; due to the war, however, only three casts of it could be carried out. More casts of this very popular motif were also made posthumously.“The 'Kauernde' is characterised by a nearly symmetrical composition of great clarity. The arms and lower legs stand at right angles to one another, forming a square placed on its tip. Nevertheless, the figure does not seem artificially posed; through the head thrown back with eyes closed and a tense facial expression, it conveys an atmospherical content that is typical of Kolbe's works.” (U. Berger, op. cit., Berlin 1990, p. 238).
Condition Report: Fine, even black brown patina.View additional info
Description: Signed and dated 'Dix 17' in pencil lower left.Like many of his fellow artists, Otto Dix experienced the war year of 1917 as a soldier in Flanders. There he created works on paper which depict the atrocious horrors in an expressive visual idiom informed by Italian Futurism.The Futurists' enthusiasm for speed, motors, danger, struggle and war expresses itself in a style specific to their painting and sculpture - in the exaggeration of semi-abstract forms, whose superimposition visualises an accelerated space-time factor and sometimes force and violence. Otto Dix also assimilated similar Cubo-Futurist or Futurist principles of composition in this period. “Howling gusts of wind shred the sky and landscape. Cold bomber planes smooth as steel rumble in sharply triangular formations and sing the Futurist Song of Songs of force and velocità. Force converted into velocity […].The world has become war and this war manifests itself as a 'monster of force' - force that discharges itself everywhere in destructive energy or is converted into whizzing speed.” (Otto Conzelmann (ed.), Otto Dix, Handzeichnungen, Hanover 1968, p. 18).When the present drawing “Badende Soldaten” is compared with two contemporary works - “Badende Kompanie - Ostende”, in the collection of the Staatliche Museen Kassel, and “Knokke, Badende Soldaten”, where advancing troops storm the lake, so to speak (Lorenz WK 6.2.9 and WK 6.2.10) - our scene proves harmonious in terms of its composition. Waves and bathers meet in arcs, the degree of abstraction is high and it is seems to have been removed from the space-time continuum.
Condition Report: Two insignificant narrow marginal tears to upper margin. Few small holes from a former fastening to right margin.View additional info
Description: Unsigned.“This painter looks out into the world with eyes that understand its hidden inner life, and it is only what he sees there that he wants to capture in the painting. It never deals with the purely objective; it always deals with something spiritual. […] Because it deals exclusively with the depiction of this spiritual relationship to things, it is entirely self-evident that every object has a right to exist within the painting only to the extent that it is a vehicle of this relationship. Kirchner's art seeks the symbols that express the artist's spiritual relationships to the essence of things. Perceiving this spiritual relationship is to understand his paintings.”Botho Graef (cited in: Ausstellung von Gemälden von E.L. Kirchner, Galerie Ludwig Schames, Frankfurt am Main (1919))In the winter of 1917, with his composition “Häuser im Schnee”, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner created what is surely one of his first paintings from Switzerland, which would become a second home to him. He provides a detail from a steep landscape with two bulky gabled buildings in the midst of very nearby mountains. Whether wood or stone, the houses typical of the canton of Grisons have to defy the entire burden of snow and the frost with their projecting roofs and heavy chimneys, in order to guarantee the human existential needs of warmth and security all the more dependably within their interiors. The architectonic structures are piled against one another; with their solid and straight forms they develop a clear contrast to the softness and painterly indeterminacy characterising their surroundings, which are covered in deep snow. The community's position is not without danger - indeed, the ridges and faces of the mountains barely seem to keep hold of the masses of snow. No pathway, no trail is visible in this snowed-in alpine world. A deep, triangular section of sky corresponds to the pointed gables of the houses and is formally of equal weight. An elongated, semi-abstract female figure appears at the lower edge of the painting; cut off and turned to the left, she also balances out the composition in an important way. She is small compared to the scale of the overwhelming natural setting and seems as though she is lost. With features reminiscent of Erna Schilling, she sets a striking accent on the surface of a painting that cannot be imagined without her.Using thin but heavily saturated washes, Kirchner has apparently very rapidly painted over the canvas ground, which retains a voice in the composition. Typically for his work, he has incorporated almost graphic elements in dashed and zigzag patterns. In addition, dense and broader brushwork stands in contrast to highly fluid, translucent movements of the brush, which flow out in linear or indeterminate wave-like marks, as though lying behind the veil of an atmospheric haze from the snow and cold. The painting's chromatic effect is impressively successful and causes the wintry landscape motif to glow in an unreal manner. Kirchner's colours are to be understood in terms of expressive complementarity as well as symbolically. A transcendental white and the deep blue are joined by saturated shades of orange and green as well as a flickering and invigorating red light that provides an affective accent: “orange/pink, the colour of life” is what Kirchner later wrote while discussing a different painting in a letter from Frauenkirch to Nele van de Velde, the daughter of Henry van de Velde (letter of 21 May 1920, cited in E.L. Kirchner, Briefe an Nele und Henry van de Velde, Munich 1961, p. 27).E.L. Kirchner and Henry van de Velde were both initially exiled from Germany through the events of World War I; they would meet in person for the first time in Davos in June of 1917. Trust and a deeply felt friendship immediately developed. In this context an artistic circle formed which was of momentous significance for the present painting - and certainly not in an entirely coincidental manner.Karl Ernst Osthaus was dee
Condition Report: Verso backed with a loose canvas (old), held together by joint nailing. This one browned overall and with slight foxing. With fine craqueleur; the thinly painted, porous structure of pigments over visible ground with age-related rubbing in places. The lower stretcher bar showing through to the front. Two minor, rather inconspicuous dents and minimal losses of colour along the margins.View additional info and full condition report
Description: Signature and inscriptions in lower margin altogether faded. One of only few hand-pulled prints. Very rare.Further proofs located in the collections of the Folkwang Museum Essen, Kestner-Museum Hanover, Art Institute Chicago, Kunsthaus Zurich and the Berliner Kupferstichkabinett.The present work belongs to the group of 17 woodcuts considered to have certainly been created on the Stafelalp in 1917, during Kirchner's first summer in Davos. Kirchner's actively turning his attention to these new surroundings and their inhabitants was to provide him with a means to stabilise the precarious state of his health. Surrounded by the Swiss mountains he created landscape images of his new environment; they are characterised by a new, elementary and defiant power and are also anything but idylls.This extremely rare sheet is the artist's first woodcut from Davos without a staffage of figures. It depicts the - at that time, significantly more open - wooded area below the Stafelalp, where three paths lead: the old path for cows, the steep path for farmers and the route for transporting milk, which had not been built until 1908. The dramatically stylised mountain scenery, the condensed effect of depth and the animation of the clouds point, among other things, to Kirchner's occupation with the folk art of eastern Switzerland, whose formal idiom often inspired him (cf. Matthias Frehner, Berglandschaft aus Davos - “die grosse Steigerung”, in: exhib. cat. Expressionismus aus den Bergen, Bern/Groningen/Chur 2007-2008, Kunstmuseum Bern i.a., pp. 23 f.).
Condition Report: Traces of age, two professionally restored tears (old).View additional info
Description: Signed 'Emil Nolde.' in blue upper right. Inscribed 'Emil Nolde: "Der Jäger." on the back of the stretcher upper left.In April of 1922, as documented by a letter from Emil Nolde, the painting “Der Jäger” was still in the possession of the Frankfurt gallerist Ludwig Schames, who was one of the most important dealers for Expressionism at that time. Schames had already been able to exhibit it in 1920 during a larger exhibition featuring works by Emil Nolde, including 35 paintings. In March of 1922 the gallerist once again showed paintings, and these were to be followed in April by a selection of Nolde's watercolours and graphic works (cf. Martin Urban, Emil Nolde, Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, vol. 1, Munich 1987, p. 581). When a representative exhibition at Hanover's Kestner-Gesellschaft was planned for May and June of that year, Nolde wrote to Schames in early April regarding the intended selection of works. The 11 pieces that were to remain with Schames included the painting “Der Jäger”, which was evidently sold shortly thereafter to the Frankfurt architect Paul Paravicini. In May Nolde wrote from Utenwarf to the new owner: “It is a pleasure to know that the little painting of the 'hunter' is in your possession, Respectfully yours, Emil Nolde.” (cited from the document in the archive of the Nolde Stiftung Seebüll).Today “Der Jäger” - which Emil Nolde seems to mention somewhat offhandedly in the midst of those years' activities related to exhibitions and sales - appears to be one of his most expressive male portraits. As an Expressionist portrait it strikingly stands out thematically and aesthetically within his oeuvre; it is also important to emphasise the power and freshness of this image preserved through the decades in undamaged and original condition. It is distinguished not only by the expressive manner of its painting, its vitality and its personal addressing of the viewer, but also by its specific composition: the actual portrait is expanded to include background motifs that are surely not to be understood as purely aesthetic or chromatic arabesques. They symbolically invest the depicted individual with an extended, immaterial dimension that is also aimed at the sensibility of the viewer. We then recognise other aspects or values of the “hunter's” personality beyond the earthy robustness of his angular, masculine physiognomy: qualities of tranquillity, concentration and alertness, of sensitivity and a feeling for the beauties of nature - for its ephemeral transience as well as its inconceivable eternity, which feeds the human yearning for transcendence. The attributes of the portrait may stand for both: the flowers, which the artist himself loved so much and cultivated like no one else, and the goldenly shimmering figure of the Buddha, deliberately depicted in the background above the man's shoulder. This wooden figure was a part of Nolde's collection. “Thus, Nolde once more proves to be a master of ceremonies who sees his artistic ideal realised in the coexistence of the contrary: 'a man simultaneously primitive and civilised, [...] passionate and passionless, radiant life and silent calm.'” (Karsten Müller, Natur- und Kulturmensch zugleich: Florale Figurationen, in: Emil Nolde, Puppen, Masken und Idole, Ernst Barlach Haus Hamburg, 2012, p. 150).It is perhaps telling that the origins of Emil Nolde's impressive, intensely colourful portraits lay not least in his processing of the impressions from his journey to the South Seas and Russia. By 1914 a particular formal expressive scheme had already proved its effectiveness: Nolde overwhelms viewers through an unmediated frontality and focussing, often in the form of radical cropping and details. But he also knew how to apply variations. “Der Jäger” finds a place among masterpieces like “Herrenbild” of 1915 (Gustav Schiefler, Urban 715), the famous “Selbstbildnis” of 1917 (Urban 769) or the painting “Blonde Mädchen” of 1918 (Urban 826, now at the Kunsthalle Hamburg), which co
Condition Report: Old nailing, the stretcher with traces of colour. The left edge of the canvas has been cut and flush mounted to the wood on the front with nails. The other sides with canvas overlap, the lower one painted. - In fine, original condition.View additional info and full condition report
Description: Signed and dated '1919 M Liebermann' in brown lower left.Max Liebermann was very aware of how privileged he was to have his home and studio located directly next to Berlin's Pariser Platz, and he enjoyed the urban life on the eastern side of his town house just as much as the nature in the Tiergarten, which bordered it to the west. This situation was ideal. The Staatsoper “Unter den Linden” was a frequent destination, and he could go there on foot. The opera house presented not only stage performances - pure concerts were held there as well. Concert scenes from the opera can be found in numerous variations among Liebermann's works of the years 1919 to 1924 (cf. Eberle 1919/1-3, 1920/1, 1921/1-3, 1922/1-4, 1923/1-5, 1924/1, 2). The work offered here is one of the earliest interpretations of this subject, which was so important to him that he also depicted it in an etching (see Gustav Schiefler, Das graphische Werk von Max Liebermann, Berlin 1923, p. 48, no. 344 illus. "Das Konzert").In this painting Liebermann has recorded the view from a loge at the Staatsoper. Framed by two caryatids, the orchestra is seated on the stage, with the conductor occupying a central and characteristically prominent position. No background can be made out. Instead, Liebermann plays with light in his own distinctive manner: two large chandeliers hang over the stage, contributing to the sense of an impressionistic snapshot with their vague flickering. The viewer is assigned a seat in the midst of the listeners, on one of the concert chairs which Liebermann has depicted in dark red with a broad brush, dominating the lower edge of the image. On the right side Liebermann has left parts of the canvas unpainted, in order to further intensify the painting's composition: here he has sparingly sketched the loges on the opposite side, producing a dynamic view running towards the middle of the image. In his concert paintings Liebermann was interested in the charged atmosphere of the hall, which he captures in a very nuanced and evocative manner.After the end of the war and the revolutionary turmoil of the previous year, 1919 brought a gratifying moment for Liebermann: the opening exhibition of the “Neue Abteilung der Nationalgalerie”, located in the Kronprinzenpalais next to the opera, presented several of his works. He also created a number of important studies of nature, some of them in his garden along the Wannsee. Liebermann could become enthusiastic about music - in contrast to the opera. Thus, on 4 August 1925, he declared in his typical Berliner diction: “I am simply an entirely unromantic person. Hate all operas. It's not art at all, this halfway thing with its bang and boom. Listen to music only in the concert hall.” (cited after Paul Eipper, in Eberle, p. 1102). The orchestra of the Staatsoper regularly gave concerts on the opera's stage, and Liebermann was a welcome guest. He was very fond of Richard Strauss, who served the opera house as its head musical director and general director from 1908 to 1919 and whom Liebermann portrayed in the previous year he painted our image of a concert (see Eberle 1918/9).View additional info
Description: Monogrammed 'RS' under the left knee and with foundry mark "H NOACK BERLIN FRIEDENAU" under the right knee. Unique cast.With an expertise by Ursel Berger, Berlin, dated 7 October 2016Fully aware of the seriousness of a situation giving her the honour of sitting for a portrait, the girl kneels calmly, but looks up curiously. Her physiognomy - the large head whith frizzy thick hair which rests on top of the slender, girlish body - is realised in a lovingly characteristic manner. Karin Rosenheim was the daughter of the art-loving family of the Berlin banker Ludolf Rosenheim and his wife Edith, who emigrated to the US in the 1930s; here she is portrayed at the age of around three and a half. Edith Rosenheim was friends with Renée Sintenis and purchased animal sculptures from her, as shown by a photograph of horse and donkey sculptures from the estate (see Ursel Berger/Günther Ladwig, Renée Sintenis, Das plastische Werk, Berlin 2013, p. 16) and by the two terriers based on Sintenis's dog Philipp which are available at this auction (Lots 371, 372). However, Rosenheim bought more than animal sculptures from the artist: Sintenis also created a head in terracotta based on Rosenheim's own portrait, who additionally commissioned portraits of her two children, Peter and Karin. The present whereabouts of the terracotta and the small bronze of Peter, which can presumably be seen as the pendant to the small girl offered here, are unclear (cf. Berger/Ladwig 077, 057). The sculptures of the children were cast only once and were not intended for the wider public.“In the figure of the kneeling girl Sintenis presents herself from a new, charming side. […]The figure of the […] girl was - like almost all of Sintenis' works - cast at Berlin's Noack foundry; it is a fine example of the quality of her bronzes from the 1920s.” (Ursel Berger in her expert report). Previously believed to be lost, it has now finally emerged out of the family and back into the public sphere.
Condition Report: Yellowish olive-coloured patina. The left knee minimally bumped.View additional info
Description: Signed 'Nolde' in ink lower right.“First I painted a few pictures of flowers, with large poppies glowing in red, in order to get used to colour.” (Emil Nolde, cited in: Martin Urban, Emil Nolde - Blumen und Tiere: Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Cologne 1980, p. 35). This brief, but highly significant quote from the period directly after the end of the war in 1945 is able to indicate the exceptional role of colour in the art of Emil Nolde. In the early summer of 1945, after years of being ostracised and prohibited from painting, the artist must have experienced the return to colour - the invigorating primary source and existential substrate of his art - all the more intensely.His poppies painted in luminous colours impressively document Nolde's unique handling of the watercolour medium. By applying the colours both to the front and reverse side of the sheet, he was able to turn the support of his images into a kind of soundboard letting the individual colour tones literally shine through.From the period he spent in Utenwarf around 1916-18 until his death, Nolde created countless watercolours of flowers. In these paintings his chromatic fantasies found the greatest possible freedom; here he could realise his ideas about colour with an extremely high degree of abstraction without having to give up the link to nature, because this was always meant to be the foundation of his work. Even if the subject of these images was to remain the same over the years, they are nevertheless each entirely different in terms of expression. The poppies, the irises, the coneflowers and the other flowers all embody not so much botanical studies as individual natures, characters and moods.
Condition Report: The flowers partially painted verso, intensifying the colours. Isolated tiny foxmarks; pin holes in upper corners.View additional info
Description: Signed 'Nolde' in pen and ink lower left.This piece is recorded in the archives of the Stiftung Ada und Emil Nolde in Seebüll.With few exceptions Emil Nolde's large landscape watercolours were created during the period from 1918/19 to 1951; according to Martin Urban it is only rarely possible to date them precisely (cf. Martin Urban, Emil Nolde: Landschaften; Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Cologne 1969, p. 32). Nolde's watercolour technique had already become established by that point in time, however, this did not prevent him from experimenting with different types of paper and painting techniques. His works were created without any sketched preliminary drawing: only isolated forms of objects, such as the haystacks and trees in the present work, are outlined with broad contour lines. Nolde appreciated a drawing's organic developing out of the colours, and the outlines loosely drawn on the free compositions of colour thus look as though they were an integral element of a complex painting process: “It is very difficult to draw through painting and paint through drawing, working without rules; I do it as best I can. It is presumably the highest type of artistic creation, as far as technique is concerned.” (Emil Nolde on 25 May 1945, cited in: Martin Urban, op. cit., p. 32).Nolde's central means of expression is colour; it is his most important artistic means and the essence of his experience of the world. In subtly modulated passages of green, yellow and blue, colour brings order to the image of the late-summer marsh landscape, spreads out in vibrating planes and in their dynamic forms it evokes a tone that sometimes possesses a musical quality. The simplification and summarisation of surfaces in space defines the composition and provides the contrast-rich landscape depiction with its strikingly direct expressive power.
Condition Report: The colours fresh, the upper right corners with small pin holes.View additional info
Description: Signed and dated 'Marc Chagall 1955' in black brush and India ink lower right.With a photo-certificate by Jean-Louis Prat, Comité Marc Chagall, Saint-Paul, dated 2 June 1989, no. 890065“Since my earliest youth the Bible has captivated me. To me the Bible seemed - and still continues to seem - to be the richest poetic source of all time. Since then I have sought its image in life and in art. The Bible is like an echo of nature, and I have tried to pass this secret on.” (Marc Chagall, cited in exhib. cat. Marc Chagall, Druckgraphische Folgen 1922-1966, Bestände des Kunstmuseum Hannover mit Slg. Sprengel, p. 168)This compositionally compact and chromatically intense depiction of a couple is to be understood directly in connection with Chagall's painted transpositions of extraordinary Biblical scenes. These scenes occupied him practically from the 1930s until the end of the 1970s. Alongside a King David shown with a decorated crown and beard, the work depicts a female figure that may represent Bathsheba (cf. Bible, First Book of Kings).In 1956, one year after the creation of the gouache offered here, two volumes featuring Biblical etchings were published by Tériade in Paris; a version in colour followed in 1958 (see Cramer Books, nos. 29, 30). In 1956 the series of etchings was also printed in the form of photoaquatints in the “Revue Verve”, where they were joined by 28 additional black-and-white and colour lithographs (Mourlot 118-146). In 1979, 30 more etchings - some in colour - appeared in the cycle dealing with the psalms of David. Among these, sheet 14 displays a composition affiliated with the present gouache (see Cramer Books, no. 108). With its pyramidal structure, “David and Bathsheba” - another colour lithograph also created in 1979 - likewise proves related to the couple devoutly turned towards one another (see Sorlier 936).View additional info
Description: Signed 'Barlach' on the right side of the cast-with plinth and with foundry mark "H. NOACK BERLIN" on the right edge of the plinth. One of 34 unnumbered bronzes cast after 1939 from the total edition of 35 casts. Posthumous cast.Ernst Barlach's images of musicians show individuals absorbed within themselves, meditatively listening in on their own inner being. The “Singender Klosterschüler” represents precisely this type: In a still and collected pose, he concentrates on intensely grasping his own inward experience. The Lübeck museum director Carl Georg Heise visited Ernst Barlach in Güstrow in 1929 with the intention of purchasing a work for his town. At that point the plan to furnish the blind niches of the medieval St Catherine's Church in Lübeck with over-life-sized figures was developed. The church had already long since ceased to be used for services at that time, and it had been converted into an exhibition space upon Heise's initiative. Titled “Gemeinschaft der Heiligen” a figural frieze consisting of 16 niche figures was to be created. Barlach wanted to utilise a number of preliminary designs from prior years for them: motifs which, to some extent, thematise fundamental dispositions of human existence more than they present the ecclesiastical canon. The large number and massive format of the figures repeatedly led Barlach to have doubts about the project's success. Financing this ambitious plan also represented a great challenge and - in combination with conservationist concerns as well as general reactionary-nationalist resentment towards Barlach's work - this was the reason why only three figures of the “Gemeinschaft der Heiligen” were finally carried out by the artist (cf. Elisabeth Lauer/Volker Probst, Ernst Barlach: Das plastische Werk; Werkverzeichnis II, Güstrow 2006, pp. 40 ff.): “Bettler”, “Singender Klosterschüler” and “Frau im Wind” (Lauer 446, 489 and 515). The present sculpture in the round was created as a bronze cast based on a preliminary scale model of the approximately two-metre niche figure made of clinker masonry for Lübeck's St Catherine's Church.
Condition Report: Fine patina with a reddish olive-coloured tinge. Barely legibly inscribed "Barlach Buller" in pencil to the inside of the plinth.View additional info and full condition report
Description: Signed 'A. Erbslöh.' (indistinctly) in dark blue lower left. - With label of "MODERNE GALERIE THANNHAUSER” to the upper left on the reverse of the stretcher, therein hand-written no. “7387” in red ink; on the right side a machine-typed exhibition label by the Kunstverein Barmen from 1931.Adolf Erbslöh set out for Italy in 1923, visiting Olevano, Positano and Civitella as well as Capri. To date it has been assumed that Alexander Kanoldt, Erbslöh's early friend and fellow student, accompanied him. The journey would lastingly shape Erbslöh's painting and composition through his experience of new landscape motifs - the steep Mediterranean coasts with the characteristic, piled-up architecture of their villages and towns. It brought about an artistic peak and an almost imperceptible stylistic break, which led him away from the aesthetic means of Expressionism, in its widest sense, and towards what would soon thereafter be referred to as the “New Objectivity”. However, it remains a characteristic feature of his work that it cannot be grasped directly by way of this stylistic terminology: he maintained his distance artistically, and he amalgamated in his own way what he saw and felt as well as formally explored, oscillating between the perception of nature and abstraction. By his own account Cézanne and Jawlensky provided the major models for his pictorial architecture.Hans Wille has already referred to the discovered motif of Positano “as the most important formal experience of his stay in Italy.” (Hans Wille, Adolf Erbslöh, Zeichnungen, exhib. cat. Hamm/Kamen/Solingen/Soest, Hamm 1986, p. 63). All of Erbslöh's artistic idiosyncrasies positively crystallised around this motif, and its exceptional status would also find sustained expression in other media, such as the drawings created there and lithography.Previously documented only in a black-and-white photograph by the artist, the present painting comes from the collection of Richart Reiche, who became head of the Barmen Kunstverein in 1907. From the very beginning he supported exhibitions with works from the Neue Künstlervereinigung München, Der Blaue Reiter, Die Brücke and others. Solo exhibitions of Erbslöh's works were shown in Barmen in 1909 and then later in 1922, 1925 and 1928. Finally in 1931, for the artist's 50th birthday, Reiche organised a retrospective at which “Am Meer bei Positano” could also be seen (cf. Hans Wille, Adolf Erbslöh, Recklinghausen 1982, pp. 37 f.). Prior to that the work had been exhibited at Munich's Galerie Thannhauser (probably at one of the solo exhibitions of 1923 or 1926).In a compact composition, the painting depicts a steep stretch of coast seen as though from an elevated vantage point: a view on to the blue water which remains as a breathtaking experience in the memory of every visitor to the Mediterranean. The unmediated collision of the foreground and background, the rhythmically shifted elements of the architecture and the mountain formations and vegetation, which seem to merge into one another in a manner formally echoing Cubism, are combined to great effect with a nuanced palette of cool colours harmonised with one another. This perspective of a gaze downward from above stands in an inverted relationship to the breadth and distance otherwise favoured by Erbslöh in his views of mountains. Nonetheless, they are linked by an almost “magical” element in the trajectory and articulation of the light, suggested here by an unreal jagged movement on the blue surface. While it may seem to indicate the natural phenomenon of the play of shadows caused by the wind and current on the water, it is primarily a dynamic form that both cautiously and expressively extends the structural contrasts in the composition and in the motif as a whole downward from the top. The viewers' gaze glides down past and below them as though along sharply formulated serpentines; in spite of the resistance of the presented style of the painting's pronounced logic and solidity
Condition Report: Upper left corner with minor rubbing.View additional info
Description: Monogrammed and indistinctly dated 'CR 34' in yellow ochre lower right. Numbered and titled "Nr. 10 Sonnenblume" by Paul Vogt in pencil verso.“Every painting by Rohlfs focuses on a specific subject that defines it, but is not itself shown. What he places before our eyes are approximations; the subject emerges out of them as we look. In the painting it appears as 'light' - as a transparent, permeable and undefined substance - in order to then, in the course of its being looked at, become that which it can in no way be in the painting: a specific space, a living thing, scent, energy, something alien, a story, something ephemeral, a moment that fulfils itself.” (Erich Franz, Präsenz des Unabgrenzbaren: Zu den späten Temperabildern von Christian Rohlfs, in: Achim Sommer/Erich Franz: Christian Rohlfs: Das Licht in den Dingen, Cologne 1999, p. 15).Christian Rohlfs's late work can be seen as the climax of his vibrant and multifaceted oeuvre, as the final synthesis of his Realist, Impressionist and Expressionist artistic principles.As early as 1911 Christian Rohlfs had already said that he did not wish to paint pictures of nature, but instead to provide himself with material from it (cf. ibid., p. 14). The present work is thus to be understood less as a depiction of a sunflower than as an exploration of the immaterial qualities of colour. At the same time, the bloom's nature, its growth, blossoming and withering refer equally to the metaphysical process of painting as a productive act of visualisation and to the ephemeral presence of the appearance of colour and form.
Condition Report: With Studio traces, the colours very fresh.View additional info
Description: Monogrammed and dated 'DIX 1932' upper right.In his portraits Otto Dix probes his sitter's essence with a sharp gaze. His likenesses discard, stylise and aestheticise without any hint of sentimentality. They show the person through the eye of the artist. The present work from the early 1930s comes from a period in Dix's oeuvre that is defined by great creative power and in which the artist passionately dedicated his attention to the subject of the female nude. His multifaceted variations on this type of motive draw their strength from a unique combination of eroticism, frivolity and irony, and they culminate artistically in Dix's Old Master-like nude portrait of the years 1930 to 1933. Our half-length nude looking to the side with an emphatic nonchalance is also characterised by a largely classical formulation. Technically speaking, the soft red-chalk drawing heightened with white underscores the artist's aspiration: “A clear renunciation of the New Objectivity's succinct lines is palpable in the draughtsman's 'will to style' and his choice of traditional drawing techniques. Initially the pencil is succeeded primarily by red chalk, which is documented as an autonomous technique in Dix's work from 1927 onwards. Beyond that, all the stops were pulled in drawing's painterly valorisation: combinations of chalk and charcoal, pasteboard coated with colour and coloured papers, heightened accents in white body colour or chalk, ornamental lineation, flexible hatching, sweeps of the stump.” (Ulrike Lorenz, Werkwende zur Altmeisterlichkeit [1930-1933], in: Otto Dix, Das Werkverzeichnis der Zeichnungen und Pastelle, vol. III, Weimar 2003, p. 1373).
Condition Report: In excellent condition.View additional info
Description: Signed 'Grosz' in ink in old German lower right.With an expertise by Ralph Jentsch. The work is to be included in the catalogue raisonné of the works on paper by Gerorge Grosz. “Soirée” can in fact be referred to as an extraordinarily important sheet; it was created in Berlin during the best period in George Grosz's work and was published in colour and diffused that same year in the cultural historically and sociopolitically important portfolio “Ecce Homo”. With Dadaesquely burlesque humour and a sizeable portion of cynicism, George Grosz deals with the horrors of the First World War and the human degradation that emerged so glaringly in the period of the Weimar Republic, particularly in a large city like Berlin. Synonymous with the “Roaring Twenties”, Berlin offered countless amusements: theatre, cabaret, concerts, restaurants and bars. It was a city that never rested. This is where Grosz found his motifs and dissected the hopeless state of affairs with a merciless gaze. War cripples and war profiteers, sailors and soldiers, the wealthy bosses of companies and cheated-on wives, crooks, pimps and easy girls are caricatured in a directly malicious manner; the amoral, abnormal and economically marginal are thus put on display here with meticulous precision and gleefully torn to shreds. The currency's devaluation proceeded after the war, the black market flourished and inflation climbed to an immeasurable level, but cash nonetheless continued to flow, glasses raised for a toast - Grosz's figures celebrate their having survived the war with a dogged pleasure in their own demise. It is not rare for domestic violence to end in a murderous crime of passion, which is described with the same blissful love of detail as the seemingly harmless restaurant scenes impressively exemplified by the present watercolour “Soirée”.In the male-dominated evening gathering, a very emphatically gesticulating redhead stands out and provides a glimpse into the more than deeply cut back of her dress - framed, so to speak, by the backrest of the Thonet bentwood chair. The gentlemen at her table seem amused and animated, regardless of whether their faces are red from enjoying their alcohol or the stories told by the lady of the table.Only the hand of the gentleman raising his glass towards her from the right side of the table indicates where the evening is to end. Apparently initially conceived by the artist as a cigar, the elongated form has not been further defined chromatically and remains the colour of the skin: a thumb stuck past the middle finger in a gesture that has been quite unambivalent since antiquity. This gesture is clearly to be associated in combination with the naked posterior and is meant to charge the scene with a buzzing eroticism. All of these events are visible only to the viewer, who thus becomes a kind of passive accomplice, in contrast to the entirely clueless guests of the dining establishment.This large watercolour has been preserved in impeccable condition and with extraordinarily fresh colours, and it is of art historical and cultural historical significance. It was exhibited at the Parisian gallery Billiet as “Soir” and remained there (Ralph Jentsch in his expert report). In 1922/1923 this work was published - linguistically more pointedly - as “Soirée”, part of the sequence of 100 offset lithographed drawings and watercolours in the portfolio tellingly entitled “Ecce Homo”, which was released by Berlin's Malik-Verlag, run by Grosz's friends the brothers Wieland Herzfelde and John Heartfield. Here, in various complete and separate editions, works on paper created by Grosz between 1915 and 1922 are arranged in a loose sequence; 16 lithographs based on watercolours (provided with Roman numerals) are placed among 84 drawings (provided with Arabic numerals). In December of 1923 the Berlin public prosecutor charged George Grosz and Wieland Herzfelde with “distributing obscene writings” and requested the confiscation of the entire wo
Condition Report: The colours very fresh, the paper slightly browned, a short professionally restored marginal tear to the right. Register marks in pencil in the corners.View additional info and full condition report
Description: Signed and dated 'Foujita Sep.1924' lower right and additionally signed in Japanese.Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita, who completed his studies at the Academy in Tokyo, emigrated to Europe early on. Following a stay in London where he worked as a designer for the tradition steeped department store Selfridges, he then permanently settled in Paris. Within only a short period of time he was integrated into the existing artists' community where he stood out not only due to his very own European style influenced by Asian painting tradition but also because of his eccentric appearance. As is the case with many artists, in Foujita's work the self-portrait, as a continual validation of one's personal position and emotional state, occupies an important space up until old age. Through the collage of the two papers, the present drawing is a graphic example for the process of picture composition as it developed during the preparation for a watercolour painting on silk, whereby the stronger flexion of the right hand in the final version illustrates a greater cohesion of the composition (cf. Sylvie Buisson/Dominique Buisson, Léonard-Tsuguharu Foujita, Paris 1987, vol. 1, cat. no. 24.38, illus. p. 372).
Condition Report: With foxing.View additional info
Description: Monogrammed 'J' and 'L' in the left and right side of the quatrefoil, foundry mark "Georges Rudier. Fondeur. Paris." lower left edge and cast number "7/7" right. - On the inside a printed label "JACQUES LIPCHITZ" and a further printed label complementing the title and date in handwriting. Cast 7/7.A large portion of the early sculpture related to Cubism was created in the form of reliefs. Like many other artists of the period, Jacques Lipchitz was confronted with the challenge of translating the primarily painterly form of Cubist art into sculpture. In the context of the problems of multiperspectivism and multidimensionality, the application of Cubist concepts to spatial art forms can, to a certain extent, be easily grasped. Thus the open three-dimensionality and activation of space in Lipchitz's sculptures are to be understood as a logical extension of the compositional principles of Cubism - particularly Synthetic Cubism. Together with artists like Pablo Picasso, Alexander Archipenko, Constantin Brancusi and Henri Laurens, Jacques Lipchitz was among the leading protagonists of Cubist sculpture. In composing his bronze relief, which was not created until 1923, the artist leaned heavily on the formal repertoire and visual idiom of Cubist easel painting. Many of his later sculptures in the round also exhibit this connection to painting, are more or less frontally composed and are modulated in a way that relatively strongly emphasise their surface.The present cast was once part of the collection of the German art historian and museum director Hans Konrad Roethel. Another cast of this very rare relief is now kept in Jerusalem's Israel Museum. In a variation Lipchitz used it in a composition together with four other reliefs and several sculptures for the home of the American art collector Albert C. Barnes in Merion, Pennsylvania (cf. Alan G. Wilkinson, The Sculptures of Jacques Lipchitz, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, London 1996, cat. no. 152).
Condition Report: Fine dark brown patina.View additional info
Description: Signed in red chalk.Édition Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris. Proof 7/50.From 1957 until 1958, seven variations of half-length portraits in profile of Jacqueline Roque in 2-3 printing states were created: "Buste de Profil", "Femme au Corsage à Fleurs", "Buste au Corsage à Carreaux", "Jacqueline lisant", "Femme au Chignon", "Jacqueline de Profil à droite", "Buste de Femme au Chignon" and "Jaqueline de Profil" (cf. Mourlot 306-311). They are testimony of the extreme scope of painting and drawing within Pablo Picasso's print oeuvre. “We see a series of portraits, here, which were commenced on 16th December and which will be of great importance to Picasso. Multiple states of each of these plates brought forth remarkable prints. This series of portraits was continued, the zinc plates being sent back and forth between Paris and Cannes in order to meet the artist's demands. The plate 'Jacqueline im Profil' von rechts was modified to such an extent between the 1st and 3rd state that it was unrecognisable. I would like to underline the fact that actually merely one plate was used for all 3 states. On the evening of 27th December 1958, Picasso's right hand must have hurt as it is very difficult to engrave zinc, particularly as Picasso probably used an instrument which was not designated for this kind of work.” (Hélène Parmelin, in: Fernand Mourlot, Picasso Lithograph, Paris 1970, pp. 244, 247)View additional info
Description: Signed and dated (scratched) 'Baumeister 54' in black lower left. Additionally signed 'Baumeister' in pencil verso lower left and dated and titled 'Lyrik mit Kammzug/ auf Blau-Grün 1954' (barely legible) across at the top. Exhibition label of Galerie La Medusa, Rome, verso.With a confirmation from Felicitas Baumeister, Archiv Baumeister, Stuttgart, dated 5 September 2016Willi Baumeister's late work is characterised by the artist's sensitive striving to achieve a comprehensive modulation of pictorial space. His abstract formations are not just arranged on the canvas; instead, they are embedded in a rough, stucco-like ground. With their irregular and undefined edges, the biomorphic forms of the present painting literally merge with the complexly nuanced ground. This aspect also generates the work's specific dynamic, which seems to find a rhythmic balance in the variously structured formal elements' growing out of and penetrating into the blue-green ground.During the final years of his life, Baumeister once again took up the combing technique that he had already introduced in the 1940s. The passage of combed white paint in the upper right corner underscores the pronounced materiality of the painted colour and simultaneously points to the immaterial qualities of light. Will Grohmann saw these lyrical compositions as the enigmatic culmination and conclusion of a rich oeuvre: “[…] at their roots the arts are analogous, particularly when they aim to restore the pure language of painting, the pure language of music or poetry and to produce for the inner eye, the inner ear. At the lower edge of almost every one of these paintings, there is an arabesque-like figure - light and seemingly incidental. Is this repeatedly recurring pictograph meant to become fixed in his audience's minds as a signature?” (Will Grohmann, Willi Baumeister: Leben und Werk, Cologne 1963, p. 156)
Condition Report: Minor loss of colour in some places along the edges.View additional info
Description: Unsigned.Hans Arp admired the lawful character of nature. He saw it as an artistic role model that was to be striven towards - but in terms of creating form and not in terms of imitation. “We want to create, like the plant creates its fruit, and not to recreate. We want to create directly and not indirectly.” (Hans Arp, Konkrete Kunst, in: Zweiklang: Sophie Taeuber-Arp - Hans Arp, ed. by Ernst Scheidegger, Zurich 1960, p. 73). The concept of forming and becoming, of constant transformation, would come to define Arp's abstraction. It points to the specific openness of an oeuvre that, much like nature, is defined by continuous change, development and variation.In the early 1940s Arp was already providing his biomorphic forms with sharp-edged incisions and relativising the supple sensuality of their rounded form. What the artist saw as the ever-growing rift between the world of technology and the organic world of a freely animated nature led him to contrast the flowing line of the curve with the straight line. His ambivalent image of the world is also reflected in the compositional principle of the negative form, which Arp introduced into his work in the late 1950s. In a dialogue with the viewer, his sculptures of those years examine the diverse potential of spatial interpretation. However, the principle of the negative form is applied not only in the “swelling sculptures” of his late work but also in his works on paper. In a manner analogous to his sculptures, the monochrome forms of the present gouache also point to the indefinite relationship between inside and outside - they are simultaneously positive and negative forms.
Condition Report: Faintly rubbed in few places. Mounted to card support verso at upper margin with paper adhesive tape.View additional info
Description: Signed 'SERGE POLIAKOFF' in reddish-brown lower right.With a confirmation of authenticity by Marcelle Poliakoff, the artist's wife, Paris, dated 20 April 1971.Serge Poliakoff's compositions develop out of themselves. Setting out from a single point, the painter constructs an organic framework of colours, whose specific correspondences and contours are mutually dependent. As in a dialogue, Poliakoff continues to juxtapose and superimpose the individual fields of colour until they arrive at a mutual balance and the relationship of form and colour seems compelling.Until 1953 Poliakoff still continued to work with pronounced lines, which he used to interrelate the chromatic zones. However, the basis of the present composition is formed directly by the planes laid on top of one another. The artist has placed the polygonal elements, whose sides are sometimes slightly rounded, in front of a neutral background underlaid with red and vertically divided into a half ranging from white to ochre and a black half. In this work Poliakoff deliberately renounces a colourful palette for the sake of richly nuanced monochromatic shapes, and he experiments with the harmonic relative weight of the forms in space. In this context the composition draws its strength primarily from the expansion of the red elements before the light and dark backgrounds. Poliakoff began to achieve international recognition as an abstract artist in the early 1950s. In 1952 the Parisian gallery Bing offered him a contract which enabled him to stop working as a musician and dedicate himself exclusively to his painting. The first monograph devoted to the painter written by Michel Ragon was published as early as 1956.
Condition Report: With the label of a Parisian shipping firm on the back of the stretcher. - Craqueleur and minimal losses of colour in places, primarily in the darker areas.View additional info and full condition report
Description: Signed 'Serge Poliakoff' in black lower left.Serge Poliakoff's works are devoted to painterly visualisation. While the way in which he developed his abstract paintings scarcely changed after the mid 1940s, the works of his late period are often characterised by a less vibrant polychromy. The tonality's reduction in the direction of a more monochrome composition is also reflected in the forms of the present work, which produce a calmer and almost purified effect.With generously conceived, relatively architectonic forms, Poliakoff marks off, distinguishes, mediates and fills the initially unoccupied spaces of the canvas. Built up with a cool palette, his composition largely eliminates the pictorial space's layering into fore- and backgrounds, thus all the more intensely emphasising that process of superimposing planes of individual colours and forms which is so typical of Poliakoff's work. At the same time, the layers of colour individually laid on top of one another provide the painting with a delicate transparency and luminosity that reveal themselves to viewers only gradually, so to speak. The bold blue and deep dark green possess an astounding depth and prove themselves to be complex nuances of colour that turn the picture plane into a sounding board through the superimposition of colour. This specific vitality is a typical feature of those works by Serge Poliakoff which, only at first glance, seem monochrome.Having already become a French citizen, Poliakoff was honoured with his own room at the Biennale di Venezia as early as 1962. In 1966 the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen dedicated the first extensive retrospective to his work.
Condition Report: Two minimal retouches in lower left and upper right margins.View additional info
Description: Inscribed 'MAX ACKERMANN STUTTGART KLEINE WELTEN ÖL 1941' in pencil verso on support card. - With a label from Kunsthaus Schaller and a small label from Württembergische Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, therein inscribed as loan with handwritten inventory no. "L 411".We would like to thank Ina Conzen, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, for kind information.View additional info
Description: Signed and dated 'Ackermann 1954' in pencil in the depiction lower right and additionally signed, dated and titled 'Max Ackermann Stuttgart. Sieg der Heiterkeit 1954' in ballpoint pen verso on support card as well as inscribed with the work number '135' in purple. A cropped customs stamp verso.
Condition Report: The colours fresh.View additional info
Description: Signed and dated 'M. Ackermann 1958' in pencil lower left.
Condition Report: The colours very fresh.View additional info
Description: Signed and dated 'Max Ackermann 1957' in blue ballpoint pen lower right. - Archive no. "ACK 4306" in black felt tip pen verso on frame backing.
Condition Report: A short cut to the upper margin.View additional info
Description: French estate stamp (only partially visible due to stretcher) with the widow's signature verso and confirmed as an authentic work.With a confirmation of authenticity by the Estate, Dimitri Baranoff-Rossiné, Berthouville (the artist's grandson)
Condition Report: Pronounced craqueleur upper right centre. A small nail hole and unobtrusive loss of colour to the left.View additional info
Description: Monogrammed "PB"[joined] in purple lower right (barely legible).With an expertise by Wolfram Hitzeroth, Marburg, dated 12 September 2016View additional info
Description: Signed 'E. Barlach' to the back of the neck and with the foundry mark "H. NOACK BERLIN". One of seven known, unnumbered casts.
Condition Report: With a fine, bronze coloured patina.View additional info
Description: Signed 'E. Barlach' on the right-hand side of the robe's hem.Foundry Hermann Noack, Berlin. Unstamped cast from an edition of 20 unnumbered casts.We would like to thank Elisabeth Laur, Hamburg, for additional information.
Condition Report: Brown patina. The marble base slightly bumped on the corners.View additional info
Description: Signed, titled and inscribed 'Beckmann 21 Karussell (Handprobedruck I. Zustand)' in old German script.Pl. 7 of the portfolio "Jahrmarkt", published by the Marées-Gesellschaft at R. Piper & Co, Munich, in 1922 and printed by Franz Hanfstaengl, Munich. One of the few trial proofs before the edition of 200.
Condition Report: With an unobtrusive print-related crease and minor marginal defects.View additional info
Description: Signed 'E. Barlach' and with the foundry mark "H NOACK BERLIN" on the lower edge of the back side. One of 14 unnumbered posthumous casts since 1939 beside one existing lifetime cast.
Condition Report: With dark reddish-brown patina.View additional info
Description: Signed 'C. Behrend' in reddish-brown lower right.
Condition Report: Some minor craquelure in places.View additional info
Description: Signed 'L. Bösken' (scratched) into the wet paint in yellow lower left margin. Additionally monogrammed 'L.B' verso on fiberboard and with the sender 'Westendorf i. Tirol' and the artist's Düsseldorf address.
Condition Report: The margins and corners with frame-related rubbing. Some minor losses of paper and colour in places.View additional info
Description: Signed 'L. Bösken' in black upper right. Titled 'Vom Schatten ins Licht' in pencil verso on upper stretcher bar.
Condition Report: Minor loss of colour lower left and superficial frame-related losses of colour in the margins professionally restored.View additional info
Description: Signed and numbered.Published by Kunstverlag Fingerle, Esslingen. Proof 57/70.
Condition Report: The mat opening minimally browned. A few traces of handling in the wide margins.View additional info
Description: Each signed and numbered. The imprint additionally signed and numbered.Preface by Dolf Sternberger. Printed by Eidos-Presse Alfred Eichhorn, Stuttgart 1946-1947. Proof 25/50.
Condition Report: The lithographs overall in very good condition. - The linen portfolio partially browned and with traces of age and usage, the inner sleeves partially loose.View additional info and full condition report
Description: Signed and dated '12.II.61 Jules Bissier' in black lower left.The work is registered in the Archivio Bissier, Ascona, under the number 12.II.61/Bldt.S.265/61E14.View additional info
Description: Signed and dated '22.3.65 K Jules Bissier' in red lower centre.The work is registered in the Archivio Bissier, Ascona, under the number 22.3.65 K/Bldt.S. 157/65E42.With a confirmation by Lisbeth Bissier, Ascona, dated 10 November 1976.
Condition Report: The canvas margins irregularly cut.View additional info